Chelsea captain John Terry has lauded under-pressure striker Fernando Torres, and believes the Spaniard remains one of the world's best finishers.
'El Nino' failed to hit the ground running at Stamford Bridge after his £50 million move in January, scoring just once in the Barclays Premier League for the Blues thus far.
However, performances so far this season have shown a marked improvement for the forward, who was struggling with injury problems last term stemming back to the 2010 World Cup final.
"I'm not saying this because he's at Chelsea now, but Torres would have to be right up there on the list," said Terry when asked about the best strikers on the international stage in Sport magazine.
"I've played against him a couple of times for England against Spain, and Chelsea against Liverpool, and even when he was back at Atletico Madrid. He's very quick, a natural finisher, and he doesn't mind the physical side of the game.
"He's a world class player and it's always good to test yourself against the very best - and he's definitely one of them."
David Villa, Diego Forlan, Cristiano Ronaldo and Thierry Henry also got the nod from Terry, who is preparing to face Bulgaria for the Three Lions in tonight's Euro 2012 qualifier.
The centre back is expecting a tough task in Sofia, a notoriously tricky place to play, but is confident Fabio Capello's squad can come through the challenge.
"Bulgaria's obviously a very hostile place to go; their going to have their own support and be looking to upset as well," he continued.
"I don't think the fact we beat them 4-0 at home will have too much bearing on the game, as it was a year ago now. It will be tough."