Man United's Juan Mata: Premier League can't be ruled by one club anymore
Manchester United midfielder Juan Mata has told ESPN FC that he believes the days of one club dominating English football are over.
United won 13 titles in 20 years under Sir Alex Ferguson between 1993 and 2013, and before that, Liverpool won 11 titles in 17 years during the 1970s and 1980s but no side has managed to retain the trophy since United won three in a row between 2007 and 2009.
Mata is keen to add the Premier League title to a collection that already includes the Champions League, Europa League, FA Cup, League Cup, World Cup and European Championship.
But he says it will be "difficult" for any team to emulate what Ferguson's United achieved because of the strength of English football's top flight.
"I think that's pretty difficult right now," he told ESPN FC in an exclusive interview. "To dominate as often as United did in the last 20 years is very difficult now.
"There are so many clubs with great squads, good managers, good financial situations that allows them to sign good players.
"So the level goes up and up and it's balanced between five or six teams. So it's difficult to dominate for a long time like United did.
"We are seeing it recently with Leicester winning the league, then Chelsea and hopefully United soon. It is very competitive."
The Premier League title remains the only trophy Mata has not won since arriving in England with Chelsea in 2011. If he is going to win it this season, United will need to overhaul Manchester City at the top of the table.
Pep Guardiola's team have opened up an eight-point gap. And while Mata has been impressed with City's start, the 29-year-old insists the packed winter fixture list could prove an opportunity to eat into their lead.
He added: "They are doing very good. They are winning so many games, scoring a lot of goals but we need to do our bit, which is try to get three points after three points and after that we are in a position where we have to wait because we are not on top.
"I think we are close and in the Premier League anything can happen in two or three weeks -- especially at Christmas time when there are so many games.
"Every team can drop points and we have to be ready for that. We need to keep doing our job which is trying to keep up the pace.
"We are a group with big passion for the club and with big intentions in terms of trying to lift the Premier League again for Manchester United. That's without a doubt."
Rob is ESPN FC's Manchester United correspondent. Follow him on Twitter @RobDawsonESPN.