Alexis Sanchez has described Manchester United as on par with Real Madrid and Barcelona when it comes to global reach.
The Chilean seemed on course to join Manchester City back in the January transfer window but dramatically changed tack and signed for Man United, with Henrikh Mkhitaryan heading the other way in a swap deal.
He started shakily at Old Trafford but a proper holiday and superb pre-season has laid the perfect platform for him to make his mark at United.
Speaking ahead of the clash with Brighton and Hove Albion, Sanchez enthused about the sheer size of the club he was now playing at.
“I think Manchester United on the world stage are one of the top clubs around, up there with Madrid and Barcelona,” he said.
“The thing they have in their mentality is to go out there and win everything.
“You get the top players on board and you go out there to try and win every trophy and competition that you enter.
“That’s how we are and need to be.”
United are miles away from the cream of the crop on the pitch. Real Madrid set the benchmark, and deservedly sit high above the rest. Then you have teams like Paris Saint Germain, Bayern Munich, Atletico Madrid, Man City, Juventus, Barcelona, who have all gone way past United when it comes to ability.
In a way, though, it doesn’t matter, because for all the foibles on the pitch for United, they remain a global brand whose size can be match by only a couple of clubs at most. They have a power which transcends sport and even commerce itself. And that notion will remain true for many years to come – even if United somehow got relegated to the Championship.