Chelsea coach Antonio Conte labelled Andres Iniesta a “genius” and compared him to Italy legend Andrea Pirlo.
Iniesta is touch and go for Wednesday’s Champions League clash between Barcelona and Chelsea with a hamstring injury.
Barça will leave it late before deciding on whether to include the Spain international, with the tie delicately poised at 1-1 after the first leg.
“We are talking about a great player, I have great admiration for Andres Iniesta,” Conte said.
“For him and the [many] players of Barcelona brought through, I’m talking about [Gerard] Pique, [Sergio] Busquets. Many players with great talent.
“Iniesta is a genius with the football. I like to compare him with Andrea Pirlo. I think we’re talking about a genius. I don’t know if he will play, but it’s a game for the best players.”
On the game, which will see one side progress to the quarterfinal, Conted added: “I think in the first leg we played well.
“When you play against Barcelona, a team that I consider one of the best in the world, if you want to win the game, you have to play a perfect game. In the first leg we did this and when we made a mistake we paid a lot.
“The final result of the first leg gives a great advantage to Barcelona. But we know their philosophy. They want to play their football, try to score and try to win the game.
“We must play with concentration in every moment of the game. Moments when we have to suffer, not just Chelsea, every team that plays against Barcelona.”