Messi renews contract with the FC Barcelona until 2018

2012-12-18 21:55:53 GMT2012-12-19 05:55:53(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

The FC Barcelona announced on Tuesday that the forward Lionel Messi renewed his contract with the football team until 2018.

Apart from Messi, the FC Barcelona also announced the captains Xavi Hernandez and Carles Puyol renewed their contracts with the team until 2016.

The Messi's renewal is the most surprising one as his contract was in force until 2016, but the FC Barcelona wanted to assure his continuity in the team as after the renewal Messi will develop his athletic career with the Barca being 31 years old in 2016.

Defender Puyol's contract ended on June 2013. He had already confirmed he would like to play with the Barca until 40 and after his renewal he will play with the team until he is 38 years old.

The midfielder Xavi will be playing with de FC Barcelona until he is 36 and his contract is renewed for two more years as his contract ended in 2014.

The spokesperson for the FC Barcelona board of directors, Toni Freixa, said "this is extraordinary news" and pointed out "they are renewing three essential pillars of the best Barca in history".

With these renewals the Barca assures the continuity of three important players which are crucial for its game.

The club reported each player will sign his contract in the following weeks.

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