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Barcelona deny Messi contract irregularities

Barcelona have responded to FIFPro's suggestion that Lionel Messi's contract extension does not comply with FIFA rules, insisting everything was done by the book.

The 22-year-old signed a new deal last month to keep him at the Nou Camp until 2016, but the worldwide players' union's president Philippe Piat claimed yesterday that the maximum length of contract should not have exceeded five years.

However, a Barca statement today read: "FC Barcelona announces that, as of today, it has received nothing and knows nothing of a complaint against us from FIFPro, FIFA or any other body in relation to the renewal of the contract of the player Leo Messi.

"However, FC Barcelona wants to clarify that in any case, the renewal of that contract player was carried out in full compliance with state labour laws and, of course, under current FIFA rules which state that, under article 18.2 of the regulations on the status and transfer of players, employment contracts can last more than five years provided that, as in this case, state law permits it.

"The contract that joins Lionel Messi and FC Barcelona strictly observes the laws and regulations in force and in particular the provisions that are applicable in relation to the length of contract and unilateral termination clause."