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Barcelona midfielder Andres Iniesta has committed his future to the Spanish champions by signing a new three-year contract.
The 29-year-old World Cup winner has been at the club since joining from Albacete in 1996, aged 12, but his current deal was set to expire in 18 months’ time.
However, Barca president Sandro Rosell on Thursday confirmed Iniesta will extend his career at the Nou Camp until June 2018.
Rosell told the club’s official website: “Andres Iniesta’s renewal is confirmed. It’s a great Christmas present.
“He will stay with us until 2018 and he could renew every year after that based on his playing performances.”
Iniesta has made 479 appearances for the Catalan club since making his first-team debut away to Bruges in the Champions League in October 2002.
The Spain international has played a key role in helping Barca win 16 major titles in the last eight years, including three Champions League trophies and the Primera Division title on six occasions.
Several clubs had been credited with an interest in signing Iniesta recently but it was always unlikely that he would leave the Nou Camp – where an official signing ceremony will take place on Monday, December 23.