Messi agrees two-year Barcelona extension

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Lionel Messi has signed a two-year contract extension with Barcelona, that will keep him at Camp Nou until 2018.

The 25-year-old Argentine international is currently enjoying a sensational run of form, having already hit 50 goals for club and country this season.

That impressive haul comes off the back of a record-breaking year in 2012, during which he broke the individual goals record set by Gerd Muller, when he netted 91 goals in all competitions during the last calendar year.

Messi's scintillating performances earned him a fourth consecutive FIFA Ballon d'Or award at a ceremony in Zurich last month, with the Barca star now firmly establishing himself as the world's greatest player. 

A statement on the Barcelona website said: "This afternoon Leo Messi extended his contract with FC Barcelona through June 30 of 2018.

"The signing ceremony was attended by the player, President Sandro Rosell, Vice-President Josep Maria Bartomeu and the Director of Football Andoni Zubizarreta.

"Messi added two additional years to his existing contract, which was set to expire in June of 2016. The player, who joined the Club when he was 13 years old and made his first-team debut three years later, will be 31 when his contract expires."

Messi follows fellow first-team regulars Carles Puyol and Xavi Hernandez, who both signed their extensions last month, that will keep them at Barcelona until 2016.

The Spanish club are now widely regarded as one of the best club sides ever to play the game, with unrivalled success both domestically and in Europe over the past few seasons.

Under Pep Guardiola, the Catalan club won 14 trophies in the space of four years, before adding another Copa del Rey crown under the stewardship of Tito Vilanova last season.

In 2012/13, Barca retain a 16-point lead over Real Madrid at the top of La Liga table, and look set to reclaim the Spanish crown from the capital club rivals.


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