Football

Barcelona star pens two-year contract extension

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Barcelona star Xavi has signed a new two-year contract extension, according to the La Liga club.

The Spain international has pledged his future to the Catalan giants until 30th June 2016, adding an extra two years onto his current deal.

The 33-year-old agreed the contract in principle last December, but the Nou Camp club have only confirmed the extension today.

Xavi penned the deal at the Nou Camp, alongside Barcelona president Sandro Rossell, vice-president Josep Maria Bartomeu and sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta.

The Barcelona midfielder is set to face Real Madrid in the first El Clasico of 2013 this week, as Tito Vilanova's side visit the Bernabeu for the Copa Del Rey semi-final first-leg.

And Xavi, speaking before he signed the new contract, admitted Real Madrid are still a dangerous opponent, despite Barcelona's clear dominance over their rivals so far this season.

"These games are always unpredictable," Xavi told the Times of India. "We are really in good shape to compete right now but anything can happen in football, and particularly against Real Madrid.

"They will be missing a few important players, but they are Real Madrid after all and they will compete well, I'm sure. Despite their current situation, they are a dangerous opponent."

Barcelona announced the new contract for Xavi one week after club captain Carles Puyol penned his own extension. The Nou Camp legend also committed his future until 2016, signing his new contract on 22 January.

Barca fans will be hoping Lionel Messi is next - the Argentinian is reportedly ready to sign a new deal until 2018, but there is no official word on that deal just yet.

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