Mascherano extends Barca deal

Argentina captain praised by the world's best player for his efforts

Javier Mascherano: Barcelona midfielder extends his contract with the club

Barcelona have confirmed Javier Mascherano has signed a new two-year contract extension which will keep him at the club until 2016.

The 28-year-old was bought by previous manager Pep Guardiola and made his name as a central midfielder.

However, that did not stop Guardiola from converting him into a centre-back and he has excelled in that role.

On his arrival at the Nou Camp, Carles Puyol was injured which provided an opportunity for Guardiola to play the Argentina captain in that role.

Key player

His contribution to the team has been duly noted by Barca's star player, including his compatriot Lionel Messi.

"Mascherano has become a key player for us," he said.

"Since Guardiola played him in central defence I don't think he has had a bad game."

During his time at the club Mascherano has won one Primera Liga title, the Copa del Rey, the 2010/11 UEFA Champions League, the 2011 UEFA Super Cup and, last December, the FIFA Club World Cup.