Photo: Messi Gets Barca Contract Expansion
FC Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi signed a contract extension Thursday that will keep him with the Spanish-league powerhouse until June 30, 2018, the team said on its Web site.
Messi, who will turn 26 on June 24, decided to add two more years to a contract that was due to expire in June 2016.
Barça has enjoyed one of the best runs of success in its history, including two UEFA Champions League titles and three Spanish league crowns, since Messi became a regular starter in the 2006-07 season.
The Argentine, meanwhile, has ridden his great chemistry with fellow FC Barcelona superstars such as Andres Iniesta and Xavi Hernandez to four consecutive World Player of the Year awards.
The deal had already been reached in mid-December but an official signing ceremony was held Thursday afternoon and attended by FC Barcelona’s president, Sandro Rosell; vice President, Josep Maria Bartomeu; and technical secretary for professional soccer, Andoni Zubizarreta.
Last month, Barça stars Xavi and defenseman Carles Puyol signed two-year and three-year contract extensions, respectively.
Messi enrolled in Barça’s youth academy at the age of 13 and made his debut as a member of the club’s first team three years later in a friendly match against Portuguese-league club Porto.