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Jan 13, 2011

Blatter: La Liga is best in the world

FIFA president Sepp Blatter thinks that the English Premier League could learn from the Spanish Primera Division and pointed to the fact that no player based in England made it into FIFA's World XI as evidence for his claim.

• Messi named FIFA Ballon D'Or winner

In recent years, Spain has seen an influx of world-class players arrive and Blatter now says that La Liga can claim to be the game's top domestic competition.

"It must be the strongest league in the world," he told CNN World Sport. "And when you see the starting XI of the Spanish national team, all of them play their football in Spain. The Spanish league also has the highest number of local players."

The World Team of the Year featured six players from Spanish champions Barcelona, two from Real Madrid and three from Champions League winners Inter Milan, but Blatter pointed to the absence of the usual English-based contingent.

"The Premier League is the best-marketed league in the world," he added. "It's a good league, with good players, but when you consider not one player made the best XI of the world, maybe they should think about whether something can be adapted."

Blatter also took time to praise the 2010 FIFA Ballon d'Or winner Lionel Messi, who picked up the honour for the second year in a row.

"Leo Messi is what I identify as a wonderful football player and a good boy. He is really humble. It's not a game he's playing, he's not an actor,'' he added.

"When I compare Messi to Maradona, both are excellent, talented players. They could not be more talented. But the difference is their personal educational characteristics. One is still in football, modest and not trying to get into the extravaganza. The other did it."

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