Fitzgerald Cecilio

Barcelona, Spain

Lionel Messi agreed to stay with Barcelona until 2018, when he will be 31.

Messi's contract has been periodically updated since he made his first-team debut in October 2004.

His previous contract signed in September 2009 was good until 2016. He was provided a basic salary of about

€9.5 million with bonuses earned in a season subsequently included in the basic salary from that moment on.

A similar formula has been used for his latest deal with figures not changed substantially.

His formal buy-out clause remains at €250 million (£203-M) and his salary, which is heavily driven by incentives, is around €11 million a year net.

Full details have not yet been revealed.

Barcelona also announced that Xavi Hernández and Carles Puyol have renewed their contracts until 2016. Puyol's deal was due to run out at the end of this season while Xavi had two years left to run.

"It just happened that an agreement they have was reached today just as it could have done on any other day. It is a coincidence, not a strategy," said the club's spokesman Toni Freixa, the club's spokesman.

"Puyol, Messi and Xavi are three basic pillars and it was necessary that they continued to be attached to the club," said Freixa.

Together they have won three European Cups, with Messi having scored a record 90 goals this calendar year.