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FC Barcelona News: 29 December 2014; Holiday Break Close to Ending, Catalonia Draw Against Basque Country

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FC Barcelona's opening week of 2015 | FC Barcelona
Christmas vacation is almost over, and FC Barcelona will get back to the business of playing football with a training session on Tuesday, December 30th at 6.00 PM CET. They'll immediately begin preparations for their first match of 2015, a La Liga fixture, at Real Sociedad on January 4th. It will be the first time the team have trained since December 19th, a day before they beat Córdoba 5-0 in their last match of 2014.

Catalonia and the Basque Country draw 1-1 at San Mamés | FC Barcelona
The national teams from the Basque Country and Catalonia drew at one goal apiece at San Mamés in a friendly commemorating the one hundreth anniversary of the first match ever between the two sides. It was a festive evening, especially in a first half that saw all of the scoring.

Brazil star Neymar stars in strange new Japanese TV advert - ESPN FC
Slightly less unfathomable than Cristiano Ronaldo's bizarre "facial fitness" commercial which aired on Japanese television last year, Neymar has followed suit by starring in a weird and wonderful new advert for an "oily skin shampoo" brand.

Four FC Barcelona legends retired in 2014 | FC Barcelona
In 2014 there were four ex-Barça players, legends in fact, who retired from football. The four were Rivaldo, Carles Puyol, Thierry Henry and Éric Abidal. All of them won over the crowds at Camp Nou, finally hanging up their boots at the end of long careers. Only Puyol retired while still with the team.

Ben Lyttleton's review of the year: Godin the great | Eurosport
The six minutes of the World Cup semi-final in which Germany scored four goals against Brazil. It was incredible, yet not surprising, to see the World Cup hosts collapse like that but the clinical way that Germany continued to push and kept scoring summed up the power and glory of elite-level sport – as well as the pain of losing.

Fernando Torres heads back to Atletico Madrid on loan until end of next season | Sky Sports
The Spanish club confirmed the details on their website on Monday morning, just two days after AC Milan agreed to sign the 30-year-old striker from Premier League leaders Chelsea. Torres has spent the first half of the season on loan in Milan with the deal set to be ratified on January 5 when the Italian transfer window opens.

RFEF aided Atletico Madrid claim | Football Espana
The Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) helped Atletico Madrid with payments to the value of €11m, reports Marca. Atleti then planned to reimburse the RFEF via payments from UEFA from their participation in European competition, while it is understood that Los Rojiblancos are the only club to have received this type of assistance from the RFEF.

Sevilla star confirms Premier switch | Football Espana
Sevilla midfielder Grzegorz Krychowiak has confirmed via Twitter that he will be moving to England in the January transfer window. The Poland international only joined the Andalusian outfit in the summer, moving from Stade de Reims for a reported €4.5m, but has impressed enough in La Liga this term to have had a host of clubs after his signature.