Resurgent Barcelona were given a fresh boost Thursday when key defender Gerard Pique signed a contract extension until 2022.
Having recently lost Brazilian superstar Neymar in an aggressive contract buy out by Paris Saint-Germain, Barcelona have put a 500 million euros ($611 million) buy out clause in Pique's new contract.
The 30-year-old joined Barcelona from Manchester United in 2008 and has proved an increasingly steady presence as centre-back for them.
The 6ft 4in (1.94m) Pique was part of the Spain side that won the 2010 World Cup and the 2012 European Championships.
Barcelona currently top the Spanish League with a nine points lead over Atletico Madrid, but are an impressive 19 points clear of fourth placed arch-rivals Real Madrid..