Former Boro man Christian Karembeu is hoping Aitor Karanka's side can be a success in the Premier League and believes the club has the fan base and facilities in place to do so.

The World Cup winner joined Boro from Real Madrid in the year 2000 and spent a season on Teesside, scoring four goals in 36 appearances.

Karembeu eventually moved on to Olympiakos before retiring in 2006 and the midfield man says he still keeps tabs on Boro.

When asked what was better, playing for Boro or winning the World Cup, he told Red Card TV: "Both! I need to tell you that the Boro was an amazing experience for me. 

"Nobody could understand why I would go from Real Madrid to Boro, but I went there to visit the facilities and it was incredible. 

"I said I needed to go there because the conditions to be a footballer were all there. Of course after that we all know that you need a team and management. 

"I hope Boro play as a big team in the Premier League because they have the fans and facilities. 

"They also have Mr. Gibson so I'm always following Boro. I won the World Cup but the Boro was a great experience."