Having adapted to English football with Stoke City, Swiss winger Xherdan Shaqiri has asserted that the Premier League is the best in the world.
Shaqiri arrived at the Britannia Stadium in August following a brief stint at Inter in Serie A and a three-season spell with Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich.
The 23-year-old has quickly adapated to life in the Premier League, although Stoke face an anxious wait on the winger’s fitness after sustaining a hamstring problem in Saturday’s 2-1 win over AFC Bournemouth.
And assessing the various leagues he has played in, Switzerland star Shaqiri told FIFA.com: “The key element in Germany is discipline.
“The Germans are very focused on playing disciplined football. Football in Italy was very tactically oriented and now here in England I can sense a real emphasis on attacking play.
“The football here is tough and spectacular and I’m enjoying it. Although I’ve only played a few matches in the Premier League so far, I feel I’ve arrived in the best league in the world.”
Two-time Bundesliga winner Shaqiri endured a difficult spell with Inter after leaving Bayern due to a lack of first-team opportunities although his move to the Britannia raised eyebrows in certain quarters.
“Although it’s true that Stoke don’t yet have the same kind of international reputation [as Bayern and Inter], the club is pursuing ambitious targets,” Shaqiri added.
“They want to establish themselves in Europe and that’s what tempted me here. Stoke are offering me the opportunity to continue developing both as a player and as a person.
“Above all I want to play, perfect my game and move forward with the team.”