Cologne - The Bundesliga has made further inroads into the English Premier League's advantage in UEFA's five-year rankings thanks to the success of German clubs in Europe this week.
With five wins out of six games on Matchday 4 of the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League, the Bundesliga is on the brink of replacing the Premier League as the second-strongest league in Europe.
"It's nice to see so many Bundesliga sides being successful," said FC Bayern München captain , fresh from his side's 2-0 win over Italy's AS Roma. "It just goes to show what reputation we've got. The Bundesliga's made a lot of ground on other countries in recent years, including the Premier League."
The five-year rankings (see below) determines how many places each league is given in European club competitions. The Bundesliga overtook Serie A for the start of the 2012/13 campaign, also assuming Italy's fourth Champions League spot, and has now established a sizeable advantage over the Italian top flight.
Premier League in sight
The deficit on the Premier League is now down to 1,977 points. Considering England will lose their 18,357 points from the 2010/11 season in the summer, compared to the Bundesliga's 15,666 points, German football is almost certain to become the Spanish Primera Division's biggest rival from the start of next season.
With Bayern, Borussia Dortmund, Bayer 04 Leverkusen, Borussia Mönchengladbach and VfL Wolfsburg all picking up wins this week, and with all five on course to reach the knockout stages of their respective competition, the future is looking increasingly brighter for the Bundesliga.