Barcelona are still the best side in La Liga despite their poor recent form, coach Luis Enrique said on Saturday.
The leaders have not won any of their last three La Liga games and on Wednesday were eliminated from the Champions League by Atletico Madrid, ending hopes of an unprecedented two successive trebles.
“There is no team that has been better than Barca. I wouldn’t swap with any other team in the league,” Luis Enrique told a news conference ahead of Sunday’s home match with Valencia.
“We haven’t gone into hiding. We said we were the favourites to win every competition, another thing is whether we deserve to win them.”
Luis Enrique’s focus is now on securing a La Liga-King’s Cup double.
Barca have lost three of their last four matches since returning from the international break, before which they had gone 39 games undefeated in all competitions, but Luis Enrique did not offer an explanation for his team’s sudden slump.
“Everyone wants to talk about the negatives but, I’m sorry, for me it’s in the past,” he said.
“It’s not down to one thing, there’s an infinite number of factors that determine whether a team wins or loses.
“We have dealt with the defeat with the utmost dignity. It’s risky to make conclusions with six games and a cup final to play (against Sevilla next month).”
Luis Enrique declined to say whether the club were planning to punish Dani Alves for posting an Instagram video after the defeat by Atletico where the defender imitated his girlfriend, wore a wig and said, “It’s only a football match, it doesn’t matter”.
“Our decision will be kept a secret, we don’t want to air our dirty laundry in public,” said the coach.
We all know Dani Alves and his activity on social media, we have seen him do everything. Each person can decide for themselves whether it’s opportune.”