Messi signs Barca contract extension

MADRID - Barcelona forward Lionel Messi has signed a two-year contract extension with the European champions until 2016, the club said on Friday.

The Argentina international's improved deal includes a buyout clause worth 250 million euros, the club said on their website.

Barca president Joan Laporta said this week the 22-year-old, a favourite to win this year's FIFA World Player of the Year award, was poised to agree a new contract that would make him the club's best-paid player.

Barca gave no details of Messi's annual net salary but Spanish media reported he would be earning 10.5 million euros per season after taxes.

"It's a huge piece of news for the club and the player that Messi can renew his contract," coach Pep Guardiola said at a news conference.

"People go to the stadiums to see good football and the fact that Barca has some of the best players in the world like Messi is a privilege."