Duo extend Eintracht deals

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Eintracht Frankfurt have extended the contracts of Ioannis Amanatidis and Alexander Meier until 2010.

The duo have been rewarded after playing starring roles in the club's stunning recent revival which has seen them from rise from Bundesliga 2 back on to the European scene.

"Both players were important in the past and still play a vital role in the concept of our coach," declared club supremo Heribert Bruchhagen.

Frankfurt successfully retained their Bundesliga status last season and even qualified for the Uefa Cup as runners-up to Bayern Munich in the German Cup final.

While Greek international striker Amanatidis (pictured) moved to the Commerzbank-Arena from local rivals Kaiserslautern, German Under-21 midfielder Meier left FC St.Pauli to seal his breakthrough with the Eagles.

Meier insisted that the new contract is a welcome boost ahead of Frankfurt's Uefa Cup trip to Group H opponents Celta Vigo after his side lost their first home match against Palermo.

"I think that we have to win in order to stand a real chance to progress to the next round," said the midfielder, who is expected to provide the ammunition for lone striker Amanatidis as Friedhelm Funkel looks set to field a rather defensive-minded line-up in Spain.

The coach is still without long-term absentees Jermaine Jones, Chris and Christoph Preuss, while unfit keeper Markus Proll will once again be replaced by veteran Oka Nikolov.