When Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund stepped out at Wembley to contest the Champions League final last May, maybe it was a sign.
Jürgen Klinsmann, Matthias Sammer and co had raided the home of football at Euro '96, showing the English that while they might have invented the game, others could play it better.
So it was with the Bundesliga rivals last season. If England will forever be the home of football, the Bundesliga is the current guardian of the temple - not the Premier League.
The attraction of England is obvious. "So what brought you to a league where the domestic TV rights have gone for over £3 billion?" could be asked of any foreign player arriving or any high-quality homegrown player spurning a 'move abroad'.
But the crown of 'the best league in the world' has now slipped from England and gone to Germany.
You can argue about the amount TV rights are sold for, worldwide audiences and attendances (though those of the Bundesliga are hard to match) as well as history and many other factors, but I am talking entertainment.
It's not the cheerleader/mascot-led, classical music-fuelled Potemkin 'atmosphere' at matches, though: call me old-fashioned, but it's all about the goals. I never thought I'd write this, but I agree with Nils Petersen on this: "That's what people want to see," said the Werder striker on the Bundesliga's official website this week.
They do indeed want to see goals, and German clubs have provided them this season. In bucketloads.
After eight rounds of league games - some 72 matches - there have been 238 goals scored, 29 more than last season. At the current rate, the Bundesliga will this season smash through the 1000-goal barrier - 1012, actually - for the first time since teams clocked up a gob-smacking 1074 in 1984/85.
It comes out in the wash at 3.3 goals per game. Compare this with other leagues: Serie A, barely three; La Liga, 2.8; the Premier League and Ligue 1 (which is so ultra-conservative it probably wants out of the EU) just 2.3 each.
"What about the art of defending?" I hear some of you cry. "Strikers win games, defenders and goalkeepers win championships."
And I'm certain those of you who are shouting that are the same people adamant that Germany will not win the World Cup if they defend like they did against Sweden in both qualifiers with the Scandinavians.
In my defence (which would undoubtedly be a kamikaze flat back four in which the full-backs push up outrageously), I applauded as loudly as anyone - and perhaps even louder - when Italy won the 2006 World Cup with a sensational Fabio Cannavaro.
But surely Petersen is right. We can all appreciate a finely-timed tackle, an athletic flying save, a valiant, sacrifice-yourself-in-the-line-of-duty block, but they make you merely applaud, not get you leaping out of your seat, hugging complete and rather burly strangers.
There has not been a single goalless draw in the Bundesliga this season. There have been seven in Italy, 11 in Spain, 12 in England and 14 in France. I can appreciate a tactical pitting of the wits, but surely there is no football fan who would prefer a 'one for the purists' 0-0 than the goal-packed thrillers regularly served up in Germany, even if their team is on the losing end of the drama.
"Everybody can beat everybody" claimed Petersen too, which is not perhaps strictly true, but certainly everyone believes they can beat everyone in Germany, and that's very nearly as good. What I like about the Bundesliga is that there is very little 'parking the bus', even when struggling teams go to places like Bayern or Dortmund. This is not a phenomenon you generally see elsewhere with lower-ranked clubs usually seeking to 'snatch a point' when they go away to the major sides.
And that is surely the essence of football: being motivated by the thought of winning, not the fear of losing; trying to score, not merely attempting to not concede.
In the results-driven, win-at-all-costs world most clubs live in, that fear has already won. But not in the best league in the world.
Ian Holyman, Eurosport 2 commentator