As Sven-Goran Eriksson prepares his fifth-placed Manchester City to return to Barclays Premier League action this weekend he has stated the English top-flight is the best in the world.
Having experienced domestic competitions in Sweden, Portugal and Italy, the former England head coach is in a perfect position to assess the state of the game in Europe.
He told us: “Some years ago, maybe the best football you could see was in Italy, today the best football you can see is in the Premier League. That’s a change and maybe Italy will come back.
“The crowds there are not as big as they were five, six, seven years ago. In Germany the crowds are incredibly big and I think it goes in waves.
“We should be happy here in this country because the Premier League is the maximum today.”
Eriksson puts the cycle of change down to a few reasons, saying: “Football changes now and then. With the Bosman case it changed, then TV came in and a lot of games are shown all over now.
“You don’t always play Saturday 3pm, all the games are played at different days and times, you play Sunday, Monday. So that’s changed football, for the better.
“Suddenly we have rich men from different parts of the world coming to buy clubs and of course that makes the money big in football. If the money is bigger then the football will be better.
“Who’s going to win the league this season? It’s not sure it’s going to be Manchester United , Chelsea or Arsenal, maybe Liverpool can win it this year.
“Teams like, I hope, ourselves, Aston Villa, Tottenham and Newcastle are better than they were before. It’s tighter this season and I think it’s good for the league. It means it’s getting better and better.
“Some years ago teams won the league only losing one, maybe two games, but I think this season no-one will go through losing just once. It’s much tougher.”
With the changes at City this summer it now gives Sven the chance to back up a claim he’s made since day one of taking charge at the City of Manchester Stadium.
“This is a big Club,” Sven declared yesterday, “and our fans so far have been absolutely fantastic. When I’m out eating, travelling or going to the airport there’s always lots of Manchester City supporters saying ‘thank you’. It’s very, very nice."