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Andrés Iniesta walks past the cup he would later lift before FC Barcelona's victory in the final of the Club World Cup. / MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB

If there's anyone who has spent the last 50 weeks in hibernation and has just woken up for the Christmas holidays, they might be surprised to learn that FC Barcelona are literally on top of the world. Again. In this 2015, the Catalan club has defied even the loftiest of expectations, winning five — yes, you read that correctly, 1-2-3-4-5 — titles. An unprecedented second treble of La Liga, the Copa del Rey and the UEFA Champions League gave Barça a shot at three more, two of which they won. In August they hoisted the UEFA Super Cup and, just in time for the holiday season, they have now added the Club World Cup, the third in Club history — also a record. 

To win the World Cup, Barça had to travel half way around the world to Japan. They had three days to get acclimated to the 8-hour time difference all while being shadowed like rock stars by throngs of local fans. They then beat a Chinese team that hadn't lost in ages, then, after three more days, they routed an Argentinian team that had beaten jet-lag the week before and who were playing in the final on a extra day of rest.

Here's a look at the day to day of an unforgettable week in Japan, one that saw Barça add yet another piece of hardware to their long past overflowing trophy case.

Day 1 (part one): Arrival in Japan

Day 1 (part two): First training session and a local boy's surprise recital of the Barça anthem

Day 2: Semi-final preparations continue, Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba speak to the media, and the team connects with the local fan base

Day 3: Last training session before facing Guangzhou Evergrande, and Luis Enrique and Gerard Piqué appear before the media

Day 4: Barça beat Guangzhou 3–0, thanks to a Luis Suárez hat-trick, the first ever in the Club World Cup, for a berth in the final amidst a highly festive atmosphere in Yokohama

Day 5: Preparations for the final begin as Neymar, who missed the semi-final, joins his teammates after overcoming an injury the week before. River Plate is next up.

Day 6: The day before the final, Messi (who also missed the semis) and Neymar both train, while the Club holds an official reception for local supporters clubs in Tokyo.

Day 7: After six days in Japan, Barça receive messages of support and good luck from fans as they head to the stadium from their hotel, and then go on to beat River Plate 3–0 in the final for their fifth title of the year. The team thanks the Japanese fans for their immense support before heading back to the Old Continent.


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