Barcelona tie down star trio as Lionel Messi commits until 2018
Lionel Messi, Xavi and Carlos Puyol have all agreed new long-term contracts with Barcelona.
Last Updated: 18/12/12 10:26pm
The three-time World Player of the Year was previously signed up until 2016 and will be 31 by the time his latest deal expires.
And Barca have also tied down one-club stalwarts Xavi and Carles Puyol until the summer of 2016 - effectively for the rest of their careers.
Messi is in the running for a fourth successive FIFA Ballon d'Or, due to be awarded on 7 January, and recently set a new mark for goals scored in a calendar year.
Gerd Muller's record of 85 goals stood for 40 years before the Argentine's double against Real Betis on 9 December took him to 86, and two more followed in each of the games against Cordoba and Atletico Madrid.
Messi will have played 14 seasons at Camp Nou by the summer of 2018, and he already has five Primera Liga winners' medals and three from the Champions League.
Xavi's new deal, meanwhile, is due to expire almost 18 years after his Barca debut as an 18-year-old in 1998 - little more than 12 months before Puyol made his first senior appearance.
Don't miss any live and exclusive football coverage this festive season. Click here to visit Sky Sports' Festive Calendar