Skip to main content

Messi joins Xavi and Puyol in agreeing new Barcelona deals

December 18, 2012 -- Updated 1306 GMT (2106 HKT)
Lionel Messi receives the congratulations of Xavi (hidden) and Carles Puyol (right) after scoring against Real Betis on December 9, the goal that broke Gerd Mueller's 40-year record.
Lionel Messi receives the congratulations of Xavi (hidden) and Carles Puyol (right) after scoring against Real Betis on December 9, the goal that broke Gerd Mueller's 40-year record.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Lionel Messi agrees two-year extension to current deal
  • Contract will tie Argentine to Barcelona until he is 31
  • Xavi and Carles Puyol also agree new deals with Spanish giants

(CNN) -- Lionel Messi has agreed a new contract with Barcelona, which will keep the Argentine at the Spanish club until 2018.

The 25-year-old already had a deal that expired with the European giants in 2016, but that has now been extended by two years.

Messi has been in sensational form this year, scoring 90 goals for both club and country to surpass the previous goalscoring record for a calendar year set by Gerd Mueller in 1972, when the German scored 85 goals.

Read: Messi beats Mueller's 40-year record

The 21-time Spanish champions have also verbally agreed new deals with midfielder Xavi, who will extend his contract from 2014 until 2016, while defender Carles Puyol, whose contract had been due to expire next year, will stay with Barca until 2016.

None of the players has yet to put pen to paper on their new contracts but the Barca website says this will happen "over the course of the next few weeks".

Lionel Messi breaks goal scoring record
Lionel Messi celebrates after matching Gerd Muller's record of 85 goals in a calendar year, netting in the 16th minute of Barcelona's match against Real Betis in December 2012. Just nine minutes later the Argentina star passed the German's 1972 milestone. Lionel Messi celebrates after matching Gerd Muller's record of 85 goals in a calendar year, netting in the 16th minute of Barcelona's match against Real Betis in December 2012. Just nine minutes later the Argentina star passed the German's 1972 milestone.
Messi beats Muller
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
>
>>
Lionel Messi\'s record year Lionel Messi's record year
Lionel Messi, center, celebrates with Barcelona teammates Cesc Fabregas, left, and Xavi Hernandez after matching Pele's 75 goals in a calendar year. Lionel Messi, center, celebrates with Barcelona teammates Cesc Fabregas, left, and Xavi Hernandez after matching Pele's 75 goals in a calendar year.
Messi magic
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
>
>>
Messi moves past Pele milestone Messi moves past Pele milestone
Messi wins third straight Ballon D'or

"This news means that FC Barcelona has secured its ties with three of its most important players," the club said on its official website.

While both club captain Puyol, 34, and Xavi, 32, are significant figures at the club, Barcelona officials are likely to look upon the extension of Messi's deal as the most important.

Widely regarded as the best footballer in the world, the diminutive Argentina international has often spoke of the debt of gratitude he believes he owes the Catalan club.

At the age of 11, Messi was diagnosed with a growth hormone deficiency and neither his existing club in his home town Rosario -- Newell's Old Boys -- nor Buenos Aires giants River Plate were prepared to provide the money to treat his condition, which amounted to some US$1,000 per month.

Instead, Barcelona, who had been made aware of his talents, offered to pay the medical bills of a boy who stood just 4ft 6in as long as he was prepared to move to Spain, a decision which Messi confirmed when signing his first contract with the club on the back of a paper napkin.

The 13-year-old moved to Barcelona with his family in 2000 -- and the rest is (ongoing) history.

Despite his tender age, Messi has amassed a staggering collection of trophies and records.

Since making his Barcelona debut in 2003, he has collected three UEFA Champions League crowns, two FIFA Club World Cup titles, five Spanish league championships and two Copa del Rey medals.

Along the way, he has scored more goals for the club in both the Spanish league and European competition than any other player in Barcelona's illustrious 113-year history.

On a personal basis, he has won three consecutive World Player of the Year titles and is favorite to beat teammate Andres Iniesta and Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo to win this year's FIFA Ballon D'Or (as the award became known in 2010).

Should he do so, Messi will become the first footballer to win the prestigious honor on four separate occasions -- a record that would be made all the more notable by the absence of a World Cup winner's medal in his cabinet.

For despite winning the 1995 FIFA World Youth Cup and the 2008 Olympic Games with Argentina, Messi has yet to go past the quarterfinals of the World Cup -- and many commentators believe he needs to win that trophy if he is to lay claim to being the greatest footballer the world has ever seen.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
August 15, 2014 -- Updated 1151 GMT (1951 HKT)
Last season Jose Mourinho wrote off the title of hopes of his "little horse" -- but now he has a squad primed to dethrone Manchester City.
August 14, 2014 -- Updated 1858 GMT (0258 HKT)
Luis Suarez will have to wait until late October to make his competitive Barcelona debut his ban for biting an opponent was partially upheld.
August 14, 2014 -- Updated 1649 GMT (0049 HKT)
Can Louis van Gaal cut it at Manchester United? Will Bayern conquer all in Germany? Is this PSG's year to win the Champions League?
August 7, 2014 -- Updated 1012 GMT (1812 HKT)
It's been a difficult year for Barcelona on and off the pitch, and the signing of Luis Suarez has only increased the prospect of more controversy.
August 11, 2014 -- Updated 1435 GMT (2235 HKT)
Germany striker Miroslav Klose, who scored a total of 16 goals at four World Cup finals, has announced his retirement from international football.
July 31, 2014 -- Updated 1145 GMT (1945 HKT)
Cultural y Deportivo Leonesa line up in their tuxedo kit.
When celebrating an important anniversary, it's always good to look your best. At least that's theory for a Spanish football team's preseason tuxedo kit.
July 30, 2014 -- Updated 1103 GMT (1903 HKT)
While many top European clubs are targeting the U.S. market, French football is setting its sights on expanding into Asia -- with China playing a key role.
July 27, 2014 -- Updated 1229 GMT (2029 HKT)
Major League Soccer has snared another big name from England with former Chelsea star Frank Lampard committing his future to New York City FC.
July 23, 2014 -- Updated 1656 GMT (0056 HKT)
Europe's top clubs have booked a summer holiday to the U.S. -- but this is business not pleasure as they look to cash in on the World Cup afterglow.
July 22, 2014 -- Updated 1828 GMT (0228 HKT)
Brazil's new coach Dunga won the World Cup as a player in 1994.
Former World Cup-winning captain Dunga is appointed coach of Brazil's national team for the second time, charged with restoring national pride.
July 22, 2014 -- Updated 1420 GMT (2220 HKT)
Colombia's World Cup star James Rodriguez continues Real Madrid's long tradition of signing "Galacticos."
July 21, 2014 -- Updated 1007 GMT (1807 HKT)
Germany's World Cup-winning captain Philipp Lahm has decided to go out at the top by announcing his retirement from international football.
ADVERTISEMENT