Jose Mourinho deserves a chance to rebuild his reputation following his departure from Manchester United, according to Didier Drogba.
Mourinho's tenure at Old Trafford came to an end in December after a run of two wins in eight matches in all competitions, a 3-1 defeat to Liverpool proving the final straw for United's hierarchy.
United's style of play under the Portuguese was often criticised for being too negative and there were suggestions some of his squad had downed tools after losing faith in their manager's methods.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer replaced Mourinho on an interim basis and has enjoyed a sensational run of 14 wins in 18 matches – only losing twice.
United's revival under the Norwegian continued in the Champions League last week as they became the first club to overturn a 2-0 first-leg home defeat to progress, the Red Devils beating Paris Saint-Germain 3-1 at the Parc des Princes to reach the quarter-finals.
The upturn in fortunes at United has led to more criticism of Mourinho's handling of the club's star players, but that has not stopped him being linked with a return to Real Madrid to replace Santiago Solari.
And Drogba – who played for the 56-year-old during two spells at Chelsea – believes Mourinho deserves the opportunity to prove himself as one of the best.
"I think Jose is a great manager," Drogba – speaking courtesy of Yokohama Tyres – told Omnisport at the Geneva Motor Show.
"I think he deserves the chance to manage again and I think he will. He is passionate about his job.
"You know, it's unfortunate what happened with Man United, but he still has the quality to manage a team.
"We know he did it many times and people forget that the year before, he won the Europa League with this team and suddenly everyone says he is done."
Like Mourinho, another famous Chelsea figure has been linked with Madrid but Drogba does not think Eden Hazard needs to move to Spain to achieve his dreams.
Drogba added: "Why [should he leave Chelsea]? I think he can have this here in Chelsea.
"You know, I had many opportunities to leave and I decided to stay to make my own story and win the Champions League here. I think he's got a chance to make his own story.
"This club is still young, and we need people like him to improve the quality in terms of Champions League trophies in the room, he can help us.
"I will be very happy if he stays here, but if he goes to Madrid, good luck to him."
While Hazard could leave Chelsea, club legend Frank Lampard has been linked with a future role in the dugout and that is something Drogba would like to see.
"I think he is already a great manager," said the former Ivory Coast international. "He is doing well with a team like Derby [County].
"It was not easy for a first experience. First year, providing those results… I think he's got a great future. He is smart, he is wise enough to make the right decision.
"Hopefully, one day he will come back to Chelsea, manage the team and I hope win the second Champions League."