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
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 1123 GMT (1923 HKT)
After 20 years, more than 300 goals and a host of major honors, Thierry Henry has called time on his glittering football career.
December 19, 2014 -- Updated 1014 GMT (1814 HKT)
They do things differently at Sociedad Deportiva Eibar, up in the mist-cloaked valleys of the Basque country. And it is working.
December 10, 2014 -- Updated 1353 GMT (2153 HKT)
He might be struggling to score goals for Liverpool, but Mario Balotelli's cheeky tweet about the British monarch hit the spot during the World Cup.
October 28, 2014 -- Updated 1253 GMT (2053 HKT)
How Real Madrid's new stadium will look
They splash the cash on the world's best players, now Real Madrid are giving the Bernabeu the same treatment with a bling makeover.
October 27, 2014 -- Updated 1309 GMT (2109 HKT)
Football world mourns South African captain Senzo Meyiwa who was shot and killed during a botched robbery in a township near Johannesburg.
October 21, 2014 -- Updated 1348 GMT (2148 HKT)
A man as a Roman centurion and who earn his living by posing with tourists gestures in front of the Colosseum during a protest where some of his colleagues climbed on the monument on April 12, 2012 in Rome. The costumed centurions are asking for the right to work there after they were banned following a decision by local authorities.
From the ancient ruins of Rome, a new empire rises. But the eyes of the city's newest gladiator light up at thoughts of the Colosseum.
October 21, 2014 -- Updated 1622 GMT (0022 HKT)
Once part of Germany's largest Jewish sports club, now he's the first ISIS suspect to stand trial in a country left shocked by his alleged radicalization.
October 17, 2014 -- Updated 1411 GMT (2211 HKT)
One goal in eight matches for new club Liverpool, and dumped by the Italian national team -- Mario Balotelli has yet to shine on his English return.
October 18, 2014 -- Updated 1819 GMT (0219 HKT)
Ched Evans smiles during the Wales training session ahead of their UEFA EURO 2012 qualifier against England on March 25, 2011 in Cardiff, Wales.
Should a convicted rapist, who has served their time in prison, be allowed to resume their old job? What if that job was as a high-profile football player?
October 16, 2014 -- Updated 1247 GMT (2047 HKT)
After 10 years of golden glory, it's easy to see how Lionel Messi has taken his place among the football gods.
October 16, 2014 -- Updated 1034 GMT (1834 HKT)
A football fan wipes a tear after Inter Milan's Argentinian defender Javier Zanetti has greeted fans following the announcement of his retirement before the start of the Italian seria A football match Inter Milan vs Lazio, on May 10, 2014, in San Siro Stadium In Milan
When will the tears stop? A leading Italian football club is pursuing a new direction -- under the guidance of its new Indonesian owner.
October 13, 2014 -- Updated 2241 GMT (0641 HKT)
Norwegian 15-year-old Martin Odegaard is the youngest player ever to feature in a European Championships qualifying match.
October 10, 2014 -- Updated 1310 GMT (2110 HKT)
After revolutionizing cricket with its glitzy Twenty20 league, India has now thrown large sums of money at a new football venture.
October 2, 2014 -- Updated 1453 GMT (2253 HKT)
Get ruthless. That is Rio Ferdinand's message to soccer's authorities in the fight to tackle the scourge of racism.
September 10, 2014 -- Updated 1328 GMT (2128 HKT)
A picture taken on May 16, 2014 shows 15-year-old Norwegian footballer Martin Oedegaard of club Stroemsgodset IF cheering during a match in Drammen, Norway. Oedegaard is set to become Norways youngest player ever in the national football team.
He's just 15 and the world is seemingly already at his feet. Norway's Martin Odegaard is being sought by Europe's top clubs.
ADVERTISEMENT