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Barca captain Puyol agrees contract extension

Barcelona captain Carles Puyol has "agreed in principle" to a new contract with the European champions that will keep him at the Camp Nou until 2013.

The 31-year-old Spanish international, whose current accord was set to expire next summer, will sign the three-year deal in the next few days.

Puyol came through the ranks at the Catalan giants and has been a mainstay of the back four since making his debut in 1999.

"FC Barcelona and Carles Puyol have reached an agreement in principle to renew the captain's contract until 2013," the Spanish club said in a statement. "Now the new conditions will be drawn up and will be signed in the next few days.

"The coach Pep Guardiola and the footballer himself made the news known to the rest of his team-mates just before the start of training this morning. The Barca squad, united in a circle, welcomed it with a resounding ovation and congratulated the captain for the agreement in principle."

Puyol has won 10 trophies with Barca including two Champions Leagues, three league titles and one Copa del Rey, while he also helped Spain to win Euro 2008.

The 31-year-old has made over 451 appearances for his club, putting him in fourth place in the all-time appearance charts.

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