New deals for Villarreal pair

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The Independent Online

Both Pires and Venta were out of contract at El Madrigal at the end of the current season but have now provided the Yellow Submarine with a timely boost ahead of their Champions League quarter-final against Arsenal.

Pires, who arrived from the Gunners in 2006, said: "What they are doing for me is phenomenal because I am 35 years old and there are few players of my age that get an opportunity like this.

"I feel physically great and how one feels in ones own head is very important.

"My dream is to win a title with Villarreal. This is a squad full of quality that can certainly win something in the future."

Elsewhere, local businessman Eduardo Garcia has confirmed his intention to challenge Florentino Perez in the forthcoming Real Madrid presidential elections.

Garcia intends to stand against Perez and has warned that any potential return to power for the club's controversial former president would be disastrous.

Perez spent six years at the helm at the Santiago Bernabeu prior to his resignation in 2006.

"Second comings are never good," said Garcia when asked about his likely opponent.

"He left a crisis that still exists. We continue without surpassing the quarter-finals of the Champions League in football and in basketball. We do not believe that he was good."

Meanwhile, Christoph Metzelder has conceded that Real Madrid are unlikely to overturn Barcelona's lead in the race for the La Liga title.

Barca are correctly six points ahead of their bitter rivals and Germany defender Metzelder believes the Catalan club are now highly likely to reclaim the La Liga crown from Real's grasp.

"The situation is not easy for us right now," he admitted.

"We have to win every game and there is no time to relax. Also, Barcelona have to slip-up.

"They have a few games to play in the Champions League and the Copa del Rey, so perhaps they will.

"We have to win every match. We have ten finals from now until the end of the season."

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