Messi extends Barcelona contract until 2016
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) -- Lionel Messi has extended his contract with European champion Barcelona.
Barcelona says in a statement on its Web site that "the Argentina forward's new agreement runs until 2016 and has a buy-out clause of [$368 million] included."
The 22-year-old Messi's previous contract was to expire in 2014 with a buy-out clause of $220 million.
Messi was a key player in the Barcelona team which won the Spanish league, Copa del Rey and Champions League last season, making him a likely top candidate for the Footballer of the Year prize this year.
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