Messi signs new deal

Barca superstar extends Camp Nou contract

Messi: New long-term term

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Argentina superstar Lionel Messi has signed a new and improved long-term contract with Barcelona.

The 22-year-old forward has committed his future to the Catalan giants until the summer of 2016.

The talented playmaker helped Barca to UEFA Champions League glory in May and was named runner-up to Cristiano Ronaldo in last year's Fifa World Player of the Year award.

Messi's current deal was due to expire in 2014, and that has now been extended by an additional two years while his minimum release clause has increased from €150million (£135m) to €250m (£225m).

The 22-year-old is now committed to the European champions for what will likely be the best years of his career, and wants to end it there too.

"I want to spend all my career here, in Barcelona, if it's possible," he told the club's official website.

Spectacular

"I would love to finish at Barcelona. This contract is a result of everything that happened last year and of what I have done since coming into the first team.

"I am simply one more person in this spectacular group of players, where there is a team that is very nice, very united and in which I am simply part of continuing to win things."

And if Messi is keen to stay at Barca for life, the door would appear to be open after the club's president Joan Laporta voiced his belief that the Argentina forward would never played for another club.

"This is the best news Barca can receive today," Laporta said of the deal that makes Messi the club's highest-paid player.

"It is important to have a player with his human qualities and his football ability. This deal recognises all that he gives to Barcelona.

"It is impossible to imagine the team without a player like Messi. We expect Leo to retire here with Barca."

Immense

Coach Pep Guardiola helped the Catalan giants claim the treble last season and believes Messi's signature on a new deal is 'immense' for the Liga champions.

"It's an immense piece of news for the club and for the player that Messi is renewing his contract," said Guardiola.

"As it also was when Victor Valdes and Xavi did so. People go to football to see the best and that's what they are.

"It's a privilege for Barca to have some of the best footballers like Messi."