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FC Barcelona's first team returned to training this Saturday. After a week of rest for the Christmas holidays, Ernesto Valverde oversaw a session with the players available on pitch number three of the Ciutat Esportiva. The coach, who also had Barça B’s Arnaiz and Aleñá join in, greeted every player one by one. They didn’t include Messi, Suárez and Mascherano, who are not due back until January 2.

Saturday's training was in preparation for the first match of 2018, a Round of 16 Copa del Rey tie against Celta at Balaídos.

The Blaugrana will start the new year in the best possible way after extending their lead in the League, thanks to an El Clásico win at the Bernabéu (0-3). They will be defending the title that they’ve won for the last three years, and the team will train again this Sunday at 10.30am CET, in what will be the last session of 2017.

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