Giorgio Chiellini believes he will be facing one of the best players on the planet in Harry Kane on Tuesday night.
The Juventus defender will line up against the Tottenham striker in the Champions League last-16 first-leg tie in Turin.
You can listen to live and exclusive national radio commentary of Juventus v Tottenham only on talkSPORT
Kane has been in stunning form over the past four seasons and has already netted 32 times in just 33 appearances this term.
And Chiellini, an icon of Italian football , has claimed the 24-year-old is at the same level as Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar ahead of their meeting.
"Kane is now among the elite players in the world," said the six-time Serie A title winner.
"Over the last years, with the goals he has scored, he has been on the level of the best.
"Messi, Ronaldo, Neymar – Kane has been on that level. He is one of those players that is irreplaceable and I am sure that Tottenham will be doing all they can to make sure he stays."
Chiellini insists he knew Kane would become a world star after their first meeting, during an international friendly in 2015.
Kane was only two minutes into his full England debut in the clash with Italy three years ago, when Chiellini made his introduction by crashing into his opposite number.
"I don't actually remember it very well but in Turin he was certainly a great striker. I didn't make that tackle on purpose!" Chiellini said with a smile.
"But in my opinion he was already then one of the best strikers. People had already talked about him a lot.
"This type of challenge for us as defenders give us an impetus to play football. These are the matches that we will keep in mind in the future.
"I know I judged him properly before because I considered him a great striker then and he has become a great international striker."