League is inferior to the Spanish, German and Italian leagues
because it is less tactical and technical, Benfica coach Jorge
Jesus said on the eve of his side's Champions League group match
against English champions Manchester United.
The Premier League is the most watched in the world with a
report by media consultants Sport+Markt last month saying 70
percent of the world's estimated 2.08 billion football fans
regularly watch English top flight matches.
However, according to Jesus, that does not make it the best.
"In my opinion compared to the Spanish, German or Italian
leagues, they [those three] have bigger tactical demands on
every match and that is why I say this," he told a news
conference at Old Trafford on Monday.
The influx of players and managers from abroad is helping
the English game, he added.
"There are many foreign players playing in England and also
foreign managers as well. Technical and tactical quality has
improved... [but] I think those three leagues I mentioned before
are slightly above."
Jesus said Manchester United, who won a record 19th English
league title last season, were something of an exception.
"Manchester United are different and that is the reason why
they have won so many things," he said. "They have different
ideas... they show that on the pitch. In my opinion they are much
stronger technically this season.
"They keep the ball well, almost every match they have 60
percent of the ball."
Benfica will get the opportunity to experience United
manager Sir Alex Ferguson's tactics and his players' technical
abilities first hand on Tuesday when the Group C leaders meet.
The pair have eight points from four matches, with the Old
Trafford club ahead on goal difference, and victory would put
the winners through to the knockout stage with a game to spare.
A draw would qualify both if Basel lose to Otelul Galati.
United have lost only one of their last 34 Champions League
games at Old Trafford, dating back to 2005, and have never been
defeated by Portuguese opposition at home.
"We are aware of that," Jesus said of the statistics.
"They are a very strong team but we are also very strong
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