Yury Zhirkov says even just training with Chelsea is better for his development than playing games in Russia.
The wing-back is now seeing action for the Blues after an injury-plagued start to his Stamford Bridge career.
"Training is different from what it was in Russia. It is more hard work here but I am getting used to it in England," Zhirkov told chelseafc.com.
"Matches too are very different, both in the way the game is played and the way it is followed. The level of football in England is absolutely fantastic, and that is the real difference. There are players from all over the world that can end up in England.
"It is every player's ambition to win the most difficult championships. In Russia we won the championship twice and all the available cups, so everything that could be won was won. Moving to a more difficult championship and establishing yourself there is the next step."