Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane has branded La Liga as being 'the most difficult league', after watching his side's stuttering start to their title defense.
Los Blancos are sixth after six games after a shock dip in form at the Bernabeu which has seen them drop points to Real Betis, Levante and Valencia.
They are already seven points behind rivals Barcelona, who have been faultless in their surge to the summit with six wins out of six, and Zidane has been talking up the level of La Liga ahead of his team's Champions League tie with Borussia Dortmund at Westfalenstadion.
He said, as quoted by Dermot Corrigan on Twitter: "La Liga is the most difficult league, I watch European football, and the games are not as difficult as in Spain."
Zidane's claim challenges the notion that the English Premier League is the most difficult or competitive. Fans often plump for England's top flight as being the most 'entertaining', but not the best in terms of quality.
The defiant Frenchman added, via Yahoo Sport: "I don't believe we have lost confidence. We are confident about what we are doing. It is true that outsiders might have doubts, but not us.
"Every year this gets more difficult. If we are not brilliant sometimes, this can happen. But I am not worried about how we will play this year."