Former Chelsea legend Michael Essien has said Paul Scholes and Steven Gerard were his toughest opponents in his career.
Now, 37, Essien enjoyed a hugely successful career at Chelsea, becoming one of the best box-to-box midfielders in the world.
During his nine years stay at the Stamford Bridge, the former Ghana international faced uncountable best players, but only two stood out in his eyes.
"It's between Steven Gerard and Paul Scholes. Those two players were quite tough to play against. They were not only good on the ball but they could tackle really hard. They were really tough but the Premier League was much more tough compared to now."
"Every team you come up against was difficult so you have to try to be tougher."
Essien has played for a host of top European clubs including Real Madrid, AC Milan, Lyon and Panathinaikos.
He played for Bastia in France after leaving Ghanaian outfit Liberty Professionals.
At Chelsea, he won the Premier League on two occasions (2005-2006 and 2009-10), four FA Cup titles, one League Cup, two Community Shields and the prestigious Uefa Champions League in 2012.
At international level, he represented Ghana at the 2002, 2008 and 2010 Africa Cup of Nations as well as the 2006 and 2014 Fifa World Cup tournaments.