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Andres Iniesta extends Barcelona contract to 2018

Dec 19, 2013, 9:01 AM EDT

Andres Iniesta, Ander Herrera AP

Go ahead and cross Andres Iniesta’s name off your club’s holiday wish-list.

The 29-year-old has signed a new deal with Barcelona keeping him at Camp Nou until 2018.

Barca president Sandro Rosell announced the news Thursday afternoon:

“We are very happy with his renewal,” Rosell said.

“I believe this is a great Christmas present for all cules.”

Talks between Iniesta and Barca have been ongoing for months now with both sides keen on getting the deal done.

Clubs around the world, including Manchester United and Manchester City, were put on high alert when details emerged of Iniesta’s concern over the changes in the club’s medical staff. This, compounded with salary scale concerns following the acquisition of Neymar, gave outsiders hope of signing the playmaker.

As it turns out, it was false hope.

Iniesta will stay at the club that first welcomed him into the famed La Masia youth academy at the tender age of 12-years-old.

His new deal will expire in 2018 when Iniesta is 33-years-old.

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