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Jul 12, 2011

Pepe, Ramos extend Real contracts

Real Madrid defenders Sergio Ramos and Pepe have committed their futures to the club by penning extensions to their existing deals at the Bernabeu.

• Mourinho: We need one more
• Beckham backs Real to topple Barca

Ramos, 25, signed for Real from Sevilla in 2005 and and has won two La Liga titles and one Copa del Rey in his six years at the club, while 28-year-old Pepe also won the 2007-08 league title and last season's Spanish Cup.

A statement on Real's official website confirmed: "The players Sergio Ramos and Pepe have renewed their contracts with Real Madrid C. F. and are linked to the club until 2016-2017 and 2015-2016 seasons respectively."

Since the end of last season, Los Blancos coach Jose Mourinho has been assembling a squad he feels will be capable of challenging reigning Spanish and European champions Barcelona and the former inter Milan boss sees the defensive pair as an important part of his plans.

Both Ramos and Pepe were a regular fixture in Mourinho's starting line-up in 2010-11, with the Spanish World Cup winner playing 46 games and the Portuguese centre-back appearing 34 times.

Pepe's most impressive display for Los Blancos came in this year's Copa del Rey final, when he helped stifle the threat of Lionel Messi to secure Real their first triumph in the competition since 1993, though his sending off in the Champions League semi-final first leg against Barca contributed to his side's defeat and subsequent exit.

Ramos' future was the subject of discussion recently as his agent was forced to deny quotes attributed to the defender saying he "merits better treatment" at Real because they reneged on an agreement to offer him improved terms, but the Spaniard has previously stated that he would be "happy to never leave" the Bernabeu.

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