Jose Mourinho believes players join Real Madrid and Barcelona because going to Spain is an "easy" option, but he understands why they choose to do so.
The Chelsea manager hailed the Premier League as the toughest in the world and insisted it is where all top players and coaches should go to develop their talents.
Mourinho returned to Stamford Bridge this summer after stints in charge of Inter Milan in Serie A and Real Madrid in La Liga, and he believes those experiences have given him a well-rounded view about where the best places in Europe to develop talent are.
Chelsea are currently locked in a three-way race with Manchester City and Arsenal over the Premier League title, while Liverpool trail closely, which has led Mourinho to believe that England is the toughest place for any manager or player to compete.
He claims countries such as Spain, Italy and Germany have too few teams competing in them and was adamant the 100 points tally he gained when leading los Blancos to the Liga crown would not be see on these shores.
“This is the opinion of somebody who has been here in this country and worked elsewhere. For me the situation is clear — the best place to develop is in the most difficult League," he said in an interview with the London Evening Standard.
“After that the best place to show how good you are is in the easiest League, not in the most difficult. In England, you don’t do 100 points, you don’t score 125 goals unless Manchester City can do it this season.
"But normally the evolution of a player needs difficulty and the difficulties help the development of a player. You reach your maximum with difficult situations. The big push comes. After that you have choices, stay in the most beautiful League to play or go where it is easier to succeed.
“Of course it is easier to succeed abroad. You go to Spain and there are two big clubs; you go to Germany and they have one big club and a little bit more. In Italy now there is one big team, although obviously more than one big club. So it is easier to succeed."
Mourinho felt the same applied for players in an individual capacity, claiming it was easier to rack up astonishing records, which some may see as a sly stab at the records of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo at Barcelona and Real Madrid respectively.
“If you are an attacking player and go to Barcelona or Real Madrid, it is easier to score 50 goals than if you’re playing in England. Of course these clubs are a big attraction. You can’t blame a player," he added.
"As a manager I had that instinct, too. I wanted to go to Madrid myself. So if a player has that feeling it’s very understandable. But I keep thinking in my case, where I enjoyed most is where the competition is. It’s high here. If I was a player I wouldn’t leave the Premier League.”