Bayern Munich’s on-loan Croatian star Ivan Perisic has heaped praise on the standard of football in the Bundesliga, saying it continues to improve, year on year.
Perisic, who won the Bundesliga title with Borussia Dortmund and the DFB Cup with Wolfsburg during his first stint in Germany from 2011-2015, is back in the German top flight, this time with the reigning champions after four seasons in Italy’s Serie A with Inter Milan.
And it seems Italy couldn’t quite scratch the 30-year-old’s Bundesliga itch, Perisic admitting that he trained a keen eye on the league while in Milan.
Watch: Perisic: "The Bundesliga's getting better and better"
“When I was in Italy, I saw a lot of games in the Bundesliga and I think it is getting better and better each year,” said Perisic, who scored his first Bayern goal on his home debut for the club in the 6-1 win over Mainz.
Perisic would have witnessed from afar how close former club Dortmund ran new employers Bayern in a title race for the ages last season, one only decided on the final matchday.
And this season will be even tougher for Bayern to retain the Meisterschale for a record-extending eighth year, with RB Leipzig emerging as both the league’s early frontrunners and the team to push last season’s top two all the way this year.
UEFA’s club coefficient rankings further support the 2018 FIFA World Cup finalist’s observation.
The table, which allocates a nation’s UEFA club competition places, then ranks and seeds teams in the UEFA Champions League and Europa League, has seen Germany outpoint Italy in four of the previous five seasons.
Currently, Germany is placed fourth - one spot behind Italy - in those rankings but are just three points from leapfrogging the Italians, only 14 behind England in second place and a nudge over 30 from Spain out in first.
A repeat performance of last season - where Germany racked up 15.214 points to Italy’s 12.642 - would further close the gap to third and if one of the four Bundesliga teams vying for 2019/20 UCL glory or the three clubs competing in the UEL can go all the way this year then the country will further climb the table and have the top two firmly in their sights.
Matchday 4 highlights!
Harry Kane scored again but Bayern Munich were kept off top spot after a thrilling draw with Bayer Leverkusen, while Dortmund, RB Leipzig and in-form Stuttgart all won on Matchday 4.
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