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Andres Iniesta inks Barcelona extension through 2018

Photo: S. Lau/AP

Star Spanish midfielder Andres Iniesta will remain with Barcelona for the next five seasons after signing a contract extension through 2018 on Monday.

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) - Andres Iniesta signed a three-year contract extension Monday that will keep him at Barcelona at least through the end of the 2017-18 season.

The contract includes a clause that from 2018 the midfielder will automatically extend his contract on a yearly basis if he plays in a non-disclosed number of games per season.

The 29-year-old Iniesta has helped Barcelona win 21 trophies, including three Champions League titles and six Spanish league titles. He has scored 48 goals for Barcelona.

Iniesta has also played a major role in helping Spain win the World Cup and the past two European Championships.

Iniesta joined Barcelona's football academy at the age of 12 and debuted with the first team in 2002. He played his 480th match with Barcelona on Sunday, when it rallied to win 5-2 at Getafe to retain its share of the Spanish league lead with Atletico Madrid.

Iniesta said after Sunday's match that he was happy with his new contract - announced by the club last week - because it meant ''it's possible I will retire at Barca.''

Besides Iniesta, Barcelona has Lionel Messi, Neymar, Sergio Busquets and Cristian Tello all under contract for the next five seasons.

Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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