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Cazorla: Spain not in decline

Santi Cazorla has dismissed suggestions that reigning World and European champions Spain are in decline after they were held to a 1-1 draw against Finland on Friday.

The Spanish find themselves second in World Cup qualifying Group I following consecutive draws against France and Finland, with Teemu Pukki's shock equaliser seeing Vicente Del Bosque's side fall two points behind the French.

Indeed, with only one team guaranteed a spot for next year's finals, Tuesday's game in Paris could be vital but Cazorla is not ready to push the panic button just yet.

"Yes we made mistakes, we have dropped four points, but that happens in football,'' he told AS. "Those dropped points must be added in France to regain first place.

"It makes no sense today to doubt this team. The team is hungry, wants to keep winning titles and you cannot talk about the end of a cycle.''

France's only dropped points came in their 1-1 draw in Spain last October and they approach the Spain game off the back of a comfortable 3-1 win against Georgia. "The problem is we have less margin for error, but we always go out to win. We are aware that we have to make a great game against a team that is in a great moment,'' Cazorla added. "In the last game we lacked things, we have to have more options.''

Information from the Press Association was used in this report

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