Stuttgart coach Felix Magath believes that German sides are struggling in Europe this season because of a scarcity of homegrown talent.

Magath, whose side lost 1-0 at home to Chelsea last night, noted that no German teams reached the UEFA Cup 3rd round and that both Stuttgart and Bayern Munich have a struggle on their hands if they are to reach the last eight of the Champions League. On Tuesday Bayern could only draw 1-1 at home to Real Madrid.

“It’s to do with the number of good German players. There were more before, certainly in the 1980s,” Magath said after Wednesday’s match.

“We in Germany are at a disadvantage. They pay more in England, Italy and Spain so the best players go there. But it is being partially corrected,” Magath said.

“It’s gone quieter in Italy on the transfer front. In Spain, not so much is paid out as before and even in England, they are having to cut back.

But I think, for the Bundesliga clubs, it’s tending to improve,” he added.

“We are one of the best 16 teams in Europe and I think we rightly belong to that group, but it’s harder to reach the very top.

‘ We have to rely on passion as we lack a little quality. But the young players are getting more experienced,” he said.

“It would be great if we could buy players from Britain or from Spain, but we are having to take from Switzerland. Their league is a little below ours.”