Jesus: Prem not the best in the world
Benfica coach Jorge Jesus has rejected the theory of the Premier League being the self-styled ''best league in the world''.
With its high excitement factor and end-to-end tactics, the competition has become a major draw worldwide. Most countries have bought TV rights, which in turn has brought in finance to help attract many of the world's best players at some stage in their careers.
However, Jesus for one is not convinced the entertainment on offer in England has outstripped the abilities on show in Spain, Germany and Italy.
''In Spain, Germany and Italy there is a big technical and tactical input in every match,'' he said. ''There are many foreign players in England, and also quite a few teams have foreign managers, so the quality has improved.
''The English league is a good league but compared with Spain, Germany and Italy it is not so good.''
Jesus does claim Benfica's opponents in the Champions League, Manchester United, are a class apart given their outstanding form in Europe over the last four years, during which time they have played in three finals.
''They are different,'' he said. ''That is the reason why they have won so much. Manchester United have different ideas and a different history. They show that on the pitch. They are much stronger technically this season.
''They keep the ball quite well and in almost every match they have 60% possession compared with the other team.''