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Lionel Messi, Xavi and Carles Puyol all extends their contracts with Barcelona

Updated: Tuesday, 18 Dec 2012 17:15 | Comments

The Argentinian superstar recently broke Gerd Muller's 40-year record for scoring the most goals in a calendar year
The Argentinian superstar recently broke Gerd Muller's 40-year record for scoring the most goals in a calendar year

Lionel Messi has agreed a new contract to keep him at Barcelona until 2018.

The Catalan giants confirmed on their official website the Argentinian would pen the deal "in the coming weeks".

Barca also revealed Xavi and Carles Puyol had agreed extensions until 2016.  

Messi's current deal runs until June 2016 and the new agreement will keep him at the Nou Camp beyond his 31st birthday.

The forward netted his 89th and 90th goals of 2012 at the weekend.

He is also in contention to claim a fourth successive FIFA Ballon d'Or crown, being named on a three-man shortlist alongside Cristiano Ronaldo and team-mate Andres Iniesta.  

Defender Puyol's contract was due to expire at the end of the season, while midfielder Xavi's ran out the following summer.

Their new deals are set to keep them at Barca for the rest of their careers and underline their commitment to the runaway Primera Division leaders under new coach Tito Vilanova.

They also reduce the chances of former boss Pep Guardiola being able to tempt them away if he returns to club management next season.

A statement on the Barcelona website read: "This news means that FC Barcelona has secured its ties with three of its most important players. Over the course of the next few weeks, Carles Puyol, Xavi Hernandez and Leo Messi will all be signing their respective new contracts." 

Cesc Fabregas hailed today's announcement as "great news for Barcelona."

A delighted Fabregas, while also recognising that highly-rated winger Cristian Tello had yesterday put pen to paper on a new contract with Barca, tweeted: 
 

Fellow Barca midfielder Javier Mascherano was of a similar opinion, writing on his Twitter account: "Congratulations Puyi, Xavi and Leo for the renovations, great news for the team!!!"

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