Frank Lampard has hailed former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho as "the best" ahead of an expected return to Stamford Bridge this summer.
The Portuguese seems set to succeed interim boss Rafael Benitez imminently after it was confirmed last night he will leave current employers Real Madrid at the end of the season.
Lampard was part of Mourinho's successful Chelsea side between July 2004 and September 2007, winning back-to-back league titles.
And the 34-year-old midfielder admits the manager had a way of coaxing the best out of the players.
"He made me believe I was better than I was at the time," Lampard told TalkSPORT.
"I thought I was a decent player, but he said to me 'listen, you can really get to the top' and he made me believe it. I tried to take it on and do it.
"I've had really good managers and different managers at times. It's the ones that get the best out of you, individually.
"We're all human beings and if a manager doesn't talk to you and tell you what they want or whether they're happy with you... we've all got confidence that is up and down.
"Mourinho was the best. For me he was. He brought my confidence to a level it had never been."
Lampard added: "It's a presence and an aura and a way with people.
"He galvanises people. His own self-confidence reflects back on his teams. He did that to me personally.
"Tactically he's fantastic. He's very astute. As a team he sets you up brilliantly.
"But what he does is he gets the best out of players and gets this togetherness that I'd never known until he came to the club and I haven't seen it again since then.
"He might rub people up the wrong way. [But] as a manager, he's brilliant with his team, tactically, he's brilliant with individuals and I think he's brilliant with the press. I know it creates a storm, but he does protect his players."
Benitez will take charge of the Blues for the final time on this week's tour to the United States, having led them to the Europa League title and a third-placed finish in the Barclays Premier League.
Goalkeeper Petr Cech is hoping his replacement will be installed sooner rather than later.
He said in the London Evening Standard: "The earlier he can be here, he can start work on things and not leave it for the last moment.
"Every summer is important. If you have a bad summer it can have consequences for the whole season."