Messi set to extend Barca stay

BARCELONA - Barcelona forward Lionel Messi will sign an improved contract with the European champions this week that will make him the club's best-paid player, president Joan Laporta said on Monday.

The 22-year-old Argentina international, a favourite to win this year's FIFA World Player of the Year award, currently has a deal that expires in 2014 that he agreed in late 2005.

"He's the best player in the world and one of the best in soccer history," Laporta told Catalan radio. "He's content (here at Barca) and that's why he's playing the way he is."