Koeman not ready to accept decline in Spanish football

Reports of decline in the general level of football in Spain surfaced after Barcelona and Sevilla both suffered defeats in their first-leg Champions League matches

Barcelona's head coach Ronald Koeman gestures to the referee during the Champions League round of 16 match against Paris Saint-Germain.   -  AP

Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman believes it is too premature to talk of a decline in Spanish football after his side were thrashed 4-1 at home to Paris St-Germain in the Champions League last week and Sevilla were beaten 3-2 by visiting Borussia Dortmund.

Spanish clubs won six out of 10 Champions League titles in the last decade but last week's results, particularly Barca's collapse to PSG six months after losing 8-2 to Bayern Munich, have led to discussions about the country's decline footballing decline.

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"This is an isolated moment that can be put down to a number of reasons," Koeman said ahead of Barcelona's La Liga fixture at home to Cadiz on Sunday.

"It's too easy to deduce that (Spanish football is declining). Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid still need to play (their Champions League last-16 first-leg games) and we can't be making conclusions like that."

Atletico Madrid host Chelsea and Real Madrid visit Atalanta next week.

After experiencing a dip in morale following their resounding defeat by PSG, Barca turns to their league game against Cadiz and will look for their eighth consecutive league win.

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"The world does not end after one defeat. We have to analyse our mistakes and try to improve things, we need to talk and train," he said.

The Blaugrana are currently third with 46 points from 22 games, nine adrift of Atletico and three behind Real, who have played a game more.

Koeman squashed reports of a lack of unity in the team after Gerard Pique was heard arguing with Antoine Griezmann during the PSG loss.

"There's a lot of emotion during a game and it's good that the players react and don't accept things if they're not happy with how we're playing," he said.