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Ronaldinho extends Barca contract
September 01, 2005 12:21 IST
World Player of the Year for 2004 Ronaldinho has agreed to extend his contract with Spanish champions Barcelona for another two years until 2010, the club said on Wednesday.
The 25-year-old Brazilian joined Barcelona from Paris St Germain on a five-year deal for a fee of 25 million euros ($30.50 million) in 2003. After several days of intense negotiations between Ronaldinho's brother Roberto de Assis and the club the two parties agreed to extend the deal to 2010 rather than 2014 as first envisaged.
The club said that the player's buy-out clause had been increased to 125 million euros and that the new contract included a provision for a further extension to the deal.
The decision to renew the Brazilian's contract forms part of the club's policy to guarantee the continuity of the backbone of the present team.
Leading striker Samuel Eto'o, midfielders Xavi and Deco and goalkeeper Victor Valdes have all had their deals extended until 2010.
Influenced in part by the positive experiences of Brazilian compatriots Romario, Ronaldo and Rivaldo, Ronaldinho joined Barcelona shortly after David Beckham rejected a move to the Nou Camp in 2003.
His decision sparked a surge of confidence among Barcelona fans. Thirty thousand turned out for his presentation after his move from Paris St Germain.
He inspired his new team to a 17-match unbeaten run that helped them finish as runners-up to Valencia in the title race in his first season.
He was named as World Player of the Year in December 2004 and went on to play a vital role in helping the Catalans win their first league title in six years last season.