QPR defender Rio Ferdinand admits that despite his differences with John Terry, his former England centre-back partner has been "outstanding" this season.
The pair no longer speak as a result of the fall-out from Terry's racism case with Ferdinand's brother, Anton.
In his autobiography published last year, Rio Ferdinand admitted he found it "impossible to forgive or forget" the pain of that incident.
But in his column in The Sun on Friday, the former Manchester United defender praised Terry for an impressive season that leaves Chelsea on the brink of reclaiming the Premier League title for the first time since 2010.
"It's no secret that me and John Terry are not the closest of mates,” Ferdinand told The Sun. “But just because we no longer get on does not mean I've lost my admiration for him as a footballer.
"His performances for Chelsea this season have been nothing short of outstanding and I'm not afraid to say it. John took the decision to retire from playing for England and had his reasons, but Chelsea are reaping the benefits.
"John is finding, as I did, that the upside of being off the international scene is that your body gets the rest it needs which allows you to keep performing at top-level well into your 30s.”
Ferdinand is not alone in his praise for Terry, with Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher describing him as the “best centre-back to have played in the Premier League.”
“We talk about Chelsea being a defensive team, but sometimes you’ve got to say they defend brilliantly, and Terry is the best,” the former Liverpool defender wrote in his Sky Sports column.
“There have been a lot of great centre-backs in Premier League history, but I think he has been the best that we’ve seen.”
Ray Wilkins, a guest on Thursday’s edition of The Morning View on Sky Sports News HQ, picked out the importance of Terry’s ability to read the game so well.
“John is John. He’s just a fantastic defender and he’s a throwback,” said Wilkins.
“John has never had any pace but importantly for him the first 10 yards are in his head. He reads the game so well. Wherever the ball is he’s in the right position in relation to where the ball is.
“He sticks his head in the way of the ball and defends properly and I think he’s been the basis from where Chelsea have sprung from.”