Liverpool legend Ian Rush is of the belief that football in Australia is on the improve.
The Merseyside club will see firsthand just how much the game has grown when they take on Melbourne Victory in a preseason friendly in July but former Reds star Rush, who had a short stint in Australia over a decade ago, was positive about the state of the sport down under.
"I played here in 2000 with Sydney Olympic so obviously it's got a lot better since I played," he said.
"With the national team doing well, it's a big thing to qualify for the World Cup, yes it has got a lot stronger.
"Just to qualify for the World Cup, for the national team to do that, means that the league is doing well. I know a lot of them (Socceroos players) are over in Europe but it's (the A-League) getting stronger and stronger.
"You just have to look at the fact Manchester United are coming over here (to play the A-League All-Stars) and Liverpool are coming over here, I think it's a good benchmark to see what it's all about, but of course its improving."