Belfast Telegraph

Premier League not the best in the world

Telegraph Sport: where the debate really starts

With Steven Beacom

English football has taken a right battering this week — on and off the field.

There's been all the controversy relating to racism in the game with a number of black players, including the high profile Rio Ferdinand, protesting by not wearing the Kick it Out T-shirts.

And then Manchester City, Arsenal and Chelsea were all embarrassed in the Champions League by Dutch, German and Ukranian opposition respectively. Manchester United won, but they were fortunate to do so against Braga from Portugal.

It does make you wonder if the Premier League really is the best in the world.

English football likes to believe it lays claim to the title and there is weight in that argument as in the past 10 seasons more teams from England have reached Champions League finals than any other country.

It's certainly the most exciting and dramatic league, but the best in terms of sheer quality? Not for me.

For pure technical brilliance and footballing skill, Spain's La Liga outstrips it and that's not just down to the breathtaking Barcelona and riveting Real Madrid, though they obviously help.

Other teams like Atletico Madrid, Malaga and Sevilla are superb to watch.

So, I say it's Spain 1 and England 2 at the moment with the entertaining Bundesliga in Germany not far behind thanks to high class outfits like Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich.

Look out for Russia, too. With all the cash flying around over there, in a few years time they'll have recruited more big name players and managers.

Roberto Mancini may be available soon!

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