Lionel Messi has signed a two-year contract extension with Barcelona which will tie him to the Spanish club until June 2018.
The Argentina international enjoyed a record-breaking year for club and country, scoring 91 goals in 2012.
Messi put pen to paper on his new deal on Thursday afternoon and follows Carles Puyol and Xavi, who both signed their extensions last month. Defender Puyol and midfielder Xavi agreed new deals until 2016.
A statement on the Barcelona website said:
“This afternoon Leo Messi extended his contract with FC Barcelona through June 30 of 2018.
“The signing ceremony was attended by the player, president Sandro Rosell, vice-president Josep Maria Bartomeu and the director of football Andoni Zubizarreta.
“Messi added two additional years to his existing contract, which was set to expire in June of 2016.
“The player, who joined the club when he was 13 years old and made his first-team debut three years later, will be 31 when his contract expires.”
Left out of the Barcelona statement was the fact the Messi’s buyout clause was left unchanged at €250 million. Barcelona reportedly wanted to increase it to ward off potential offers but Messi said no.
Interesting move as Messi’s buyout clause has already been activated once already. An unnamed Russian side (Anzhi?) made an official offer of £205m (€250m) to Barcelona for Messi in December, but Messi turned it down.
Under his new deal, Messi will see his base salary rise to €12 million after tax every season through 2018. In addition, Messi stands to pocked an additional €4 million a year in performance-related bonuses. These include everything from how many trophies the club wins, the number of appearances he makes and whether he wins a fifth Ballon d’Or, this last feat would see him net close to €1 million.