Puyol, Xavi and Messi secure Barca futures

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Updated: December 18, 2012

Lionel Messi, Xavi and Carles Puyol all secured their futures at Barcelona today when they agreed new extended terms at the Catalan club.

World Player of the Year Messi’s deal has been extended by two years to June 30, 2018, which ties him until he is 31, the La Liga leaders said in a statement.

The 34-year-old Puyol, the club’s captain, has agreed a three-year extension to June 30, 2016, which would effectively see the Spanish international through to the end of his playing career at 38.

Xavi’s existing deal ran until June 2016 depending on appearances but the 32-year-old midfielder’s new contract would now end then regardless of the number of times he played, Barca added.

By securing a further 2 years from Messi, Barcelona are now in a position that they will get the best of the Argentine genius and have him on board at a peak time in his career.

At 25, Messi has already set a number of club scoring records and is favourite to win a fourth World Player of the Year award next month.

He has been the top scorer in the world’s highest-profile club competition, the Champions League, for four years in a row, and hit the headlines recently as he racked up his 90th goal in 2012 for club and country.

Messi has already scored 25 goals in 16 La Liga games this season, the latest being a double against second-placed Atletico Madrid in a 4-1 victory on Sunday which left Barca clear at the top, and 13 points ahead of their great title rivals Real Madrid.

Puyol has been a central figure at the heart of the Barca defence for more than a decade, famous for his commitment and aggression. His return after a string of injuries has settled a backline that looked distinctly shaky earlier in the campaign.

Like Puyol and Messi, playmaker Xavi is a product of the club’s acclaimed youth academy, and has pulled the strings in midfield for more than a decade.

With Cesc Fabregas settling into the side more, and the talented Thiago Alcantara emerging, Spanish international Xavi has increased competition for his place but remains a vital part of Vilanova’s plans.