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FC Barcelona News: 30 December 2013; Catalan National Team in Action Today, Spain Based Players Return to Barcelona

David Ramos

Players back in action on Monday | FC Barcelona
First team manager Tata Martino outlined the schedule for the festive season at a press conference on 17th December. He explained that the players based in Spain would resume training on 30th December in the evening, with the exception of players called up by the Catalonia national squad, who would train in the morning.

Catalonia hosts Cape Verde in Olympic Stadium | FC Barcelona
The national football team of Catalonia is in action tonight (19.00, TV3) in the annual Christmas friendly match. The opposition this year is Cape Verde and the venue is the Lluís Companys Olympic Stadium.

Xavi Hernández reckons Messi is best ever | FC Barcelona
On Sunday, Xavi Hernández was in Dubai to collect the Career Award at the eighth edition of the ‘International Sports Conference’ and Globe Soccer Awards. He was full of praise for his colleague Leo Messi and also described how the team coped with the shock of Tito Vilanova resigning through illness during the summer.

Mascherano buoyed by Messi return -
[Mascherano] told TyC Sports: "I spoke to Leo during all his injury. I know that he's very well, and that he has made a fantastic recovery. "I'm waiting for him with open arms, both at Barcelona and the national team. He's important to both teams. "What makes him happy is to be on the pitch, so we hope he can get comfortable again quickly."

FC Barcelona’s 15 titles in 2013 | FC Barcelona
FC Barcelona’s football team and its four other professional teams won a total of fifteen trophies in 2013. Messi, Xavi, Iniesta and co won the Spanish League, the Copa Catalunya and the Spanish Supercup.

From Xabi Alonso to Victor Valdes - the Liga stars whose contracts expire in 2014 -
Spain's situation is uncertain for many people - and that includes the football industry. At the budget end of La Liga, some sides will need to check their finances before handing out new deals to their players soon to be out of contract, while others may simply be surplus to requirements.

Gareth Bale set to miss PSG friendly in Qatar - ESPN FC
Gareth Bale looks set to miss Real Madrid’s glamour friendly against Paris Saint-Germain in Qatar on Thursday as his calf problem has not healed completely during La Liga’s winter break.

Crucial stage for Varane | Football Espana
Raphael Varane is seen as in a crucial stage of his recovery from knee trouble, with the coming period set to determine if surgery is required. The Frenchman has struggled with the joint in his right knee ever since returning in October, having spent five months on the sidelines following surgery on a torn meniscus.

Coentrao 'looking for Real Madrid exit' - Yahoo Eurosport UK
The Portuguese indicated at the start of last summer his desire to leave Los Blancos after two difficult seasons in the capital and it was confirmed by Carlo Ancelotti that he asked to leave. However, having seen a last-minute move to Manchester United break down, the full-back actually signed an improved contract in November, committing him to Madrid until June 2018.

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