Barcelona coach Raddy Antic has claimed that Newcastle striker Alan Shearer would not have been a success had he played in Spain or Italy.

The claim comes on the day that Shearer lines up against Antic’s side tonight in the crunch game at St. James’ Park. Antic believes Shearer, who is arguably in the best form of his career, would not have scored as many goals as he has done in the Premiership had he played abroad.

“I seriously doubt whether he would have scored as many goals in Spain as he has in the Premiership,” said Antic.

“Marking him well will limit his threat.”

“The English game is a good standard and its getting better with the years, Antic added. ‘But success in Spain or Italy has more meaning.”

Antic has also dismissed the chances of the English clubs still involved in the Champion’s League, arguing that none is strong enough to challenge for this years title.

“I would be surprised to see the English teams challenge.” said the former Luton Town player.

“They are in contention but it’s difficult to say. Manchester United are doing great, but Arsenal and Newcastle are virtually out of the competition. They play too many games and never play with their best sides in European competition.”