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Marquez and Iniesta lengthen Barca deals


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FC Barcelona have secured the services of defender Rafael Márquez for a further two years after the 30-year-old Mexican international agreed terms on an improved deal until 2012.

Márquez joined Barça in the summer of 2003 from AS Monaco FC and made his 150th Liga appearance earlier this season. A key figure under Frank Rijkaard and then Josep Guardiola, he played in the Catalan side's UEFA Champions League final win over Arsenal FC in 2006. He was troubled by injury last term, however, and missed the UEFA champions League and Copa del Rey finals as well as the Liga run-in as Barcelona clinched the treble. Following further injury problems this term, he has been kept on the sidelines by the fine form of central pair Gerard Piqué and Carles Puyol.


FC Barcelona have received a boost ahead of Sunday's Liga encounter against title rivals Real Madrid CF with the news that Andrés Iniesta has signed a one-year contract extension with last season's treble winners.

The UEFA EURO 2008™ winning midfielder should remain at Camp Nou until 30 June 2015 and has had his buy-out clause increased to €200m. Iniesta – who joined Barcelona's youth set-up when he was 12 − has been influential in helping the club to three Liga wins, two UEFA Champions League titles and a UEFA Super Cup triumph during his time with the senior squad. The 25-year-old, who is approaching 200 Liga appearances for the Blaugrana, said signing the new terms had made it "a very special day". Barcelona complete their UEFA Champions League Group F campaign on 9 December at FC Dynamo Kyiv, knowing a draw would continue their championship defence into the knockout phase.


Good deal with Iniesta, I could have seen Man City bid his old release clause which was somewhere just over £150m.

As for Marquez - I'm not sure.

Was a great defender, but I think that's more of a pension-booster from Laporta than anything else. I'm totally with Graham Hunter on this one. Maybe he's there to train and help Dmytro Chygrynskiy after his rather comedic start to his Barca career, but Marquez just isn't the same player.

It stinks of a golden handshake.

Still, I'm sure they can afford it :pipe:

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Aye, I don't think Marquez is up to his old standards but then again, perhaps if he gets a run in the side he'll recover his old form. Trouble is, where would you play him and who would you drop?

In the defense, as much as I think he's rather flawed, Pique seems to be doing alright at the moment. Milito is on his way back too and Puyol isn't likely to be dropped anytime soon. Maybe he could fill in in defensive mid but I'm not sure how effective he would be there and I doubt he'd get a run of games there either!

Perhaps it is just to mentor Chygrynskiy and give him a bit of a boost for his loyal service over the years.

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I didn't think Marquez was up to much anyway so I'm surprised he's got an extension. What else can you say about Iniesta. The guys a genius.

How many teams do you hear a commentator on Sky says the words Xavi & Iniesta after the other. The two of them are telepathic and just know where the other one is

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