Messi inks two-year contract extension
Argentina's Gonzalo Higuain, left, is congratulated by Lionel Messi, right, after Higuain scored a goal against Sweden during their friendly soccer match in Stockholm on Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013. (AP Photo/Scanpix Sweden, Jonas Ekstromer)
Published Thursday, February 7, 2013 5:44PM EST
Last Updated Thursday, February 7, 2013 6:18PM EST
BARCELONA, Spain - Lionel Messi signed a two-year contract extension with Barcelona on Thursday, tying him to the Spanish club for the better part of his already stellar playing career.
With his previous contract set to expire in 2016, Messi will now remain at Barcelona until June 2018.
The 25-year-old forward joined Barcelona when he was 13, and debuted with the first team three years later. He has gone on to become Barcelona's all-time leading scorer en route to helping the team lift numerous trophies and winning four FIFA world player of the year awards.
"I'm very happy at Barcelona, I have always said so. It's a great day," said Messi, who is now set to remain a Barcelona player until he is 31 years old.
"I don't know how I will be when I reach 31. I just go forward day by day and try to enjoy playing football here," he said.
Barcelona first announced in December that Messi, along with midfielder Xavi Hernandez and defender Carles Puyol, had agreed to extend their contracts.