Messi to stay at Barca through 2018

Barcelona, Dec 18 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Spanish giants Barcelona announced Tuesday that record goal-scorer Lionel Messi is to sign a contract that will keep him at the Camp Nou through 2018.

The diminutive Argentinian scored his 89th and 90th goals of the calendar year in a 4-1 rout of Atletico Madrid Sunday to extend his world-record haul and cement his status as the world's top player.

"In the coming weeks and individually, Carles Puyol, Xavi Hernandez and Lionel Messi will sign their respective new contracts," Barca said in a website statement.

"Messi will continue until 2018."

The deal keeps the 25-year-old with the Catalan club until he is 31. Puyol, 34, and Xavi, 32, will sign deals through 2016, the club said.

--IANS/RIA Novosti



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