Five years back, when Michael Ballack had said that Nemanja Matic was a future superstar, people thought that he was just overrating the Serb.
There was not much to like about Matic at that point of time. He was a young player coming through and he seemed to have a bit of potential, but, he had had quite a few flaws in his game too and to predict that he would go on to achieve greatness, it was a courageous call by Ballack.
But, that is turning out to be quite true and the German legend would be quite happy to see Matic proving him right.
Matic was at Vitesse playing on loan in the winter of 2010 when Ballack made that statement about him in a television programme.
Just after Matic returned to the Stamford Bridge from Vitesse the following summer; Chelsea put him on sale and got rid of him.
Matic was bought by Benfica at a transfer fee of about 25 million Euros.
People thought there would be no coming back for the holding midfielder to the English top flight again.
But, Matic showed what can be achieved if you are mentally strong and ready to dig in.
The Serbia International went from strength to strength at Benfica and turned himself from a talented young, rash player to a steady and matured one.
He added more dimensions to his game and started impacting games more often.
By improving regularly and putting in good performances day after day there in Portugal, the Yugoslavia born player made sure that he was noticed again and he was back to the Bridge within 3 years of his departure.
And, not only did he return to Chelsea, he became a prominent figure in the side this time around under Jose Mourinho.
He is so important for the Blues at the moment that they can’t think of doing without him.
He was recently not there for a couple of games because of a ban and Chelsea struggled a little bit.