Marca have compiled a series of quotes from the current Netherlands national team boss that were related to analysis of the current Blaugrana side and the direction the team were going in.
That report cites an interview that Koeman gave to Catalan newspaper Diario Sport as recently as April, in which he claimed that the club would have to accept that it was entering a period of decline.
Koeman was explaining the cyclical nature of football and believed that after such a lengthy period of success – last season was the club’s eighth league title in eleven years – that a period of decline was natural.
He highlighted how the only remaining players from the club’s era of greatness were now all comfortably the wrong side of 30 and that made it tough to continue challenging at the top level.
“Barça are no longer the same as they were a few years ago because they do not have the players they had before,” Koeman explained.
“Only Piqué, Busquets and Messi are from that spine and all three are over 30 years old. It is the law of life. It happened to me. The ‘Dream Team’ of Barça and the Dutch team of 88 with Van Basten, Gullit, Rijkaard and myself who became European champions.
“Nothing is eternal and you have to know how to renew yourself. And sometimes you have to understand that to dominate again, first you have to spend a few years in the desert.”