Josep Guardiola agrees new deal with Barcelona

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The Independent Online

Barcelona boss Josep Guardiola has agreed a new contract with the Spanish champions.

The deal will take Guardiola through to the end of next season.



The former Spain midfielder had an existing agreement taking him through to this summer, but Barcelona have announced Guardiola will formally commit until June 30, 2012 by signing "in the next few days".

Guardiola was appointed boss at the Nou Camp in 2008, after a successful season of coaching the Barcelona B team.

In his first campaign Barcelona achieved the remarkable treble of winning the Primera Division, Copa del Rey and Champions League, and they finished 2009 with six trophies in all.



Last year saw them successfully defend their domestic league title, and they are cruising at the top of the table again this season, seven points clear of second-placed Real Madrid who appointed Jose Mourinho as manager in the summer in the hope of overhauling the Catalan side.



Guardiola saw his team thump Real 5-0 in November to assert their supremacy, and they have also made serene progress in Europe this season, setting up the upcoming last-16 clash with Arsenal in the Champions League.



The 40-year-old, who starred in midfield for Barcelona from 1990 to 2001, when he moved to Italy, has seen his Barcelona side shatter the record of most consecutive Primera Division wins this season.



They racked up a 16th in a row on Saturday, to beat Real Madrid's 50-year-old total of 15.



Guardiola has received high acclaim for his success but acknowledges the club owe much to the form of Lionel Messi.



Speaking after Barcelona's 3-0 win over Atletico Madrid on Saturday, when Messi scored all the goals, Guardiola said: "We wouldn't be what we are without Messi.



"Without him we would be a good team, but he makes the difference."



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