Mexican international defender Rafa Marquez on Monday extended his contract with Barcelona until 2012, becoming the eighth player to renew with the European champions so far this season.
“I?m very happy to renew with a club where I?ve felt very wanted, where I?ve enjoyed myself and where I?ve suffered. I have to enjoy these moments, they pass very quickly,” he said after signing his new contract.
“Now I need to recover full match fitness to try and win back a place in the starting eleven, though competition is tough. I think I still have a good chance of being in the starting line-up.”
Marquez, whose contract was due to expire in June 2010, joined Barcelona in 2003 from French side Monaco.
Various injuries have restricted his appearances this season and he faces stiff competition to regain his place from the likes of Barcelona captain Carles Puyol and Gerard Pique who put in strong performances during the club’s 1-0 league win on Sunday over arch-rivals Real Madrid.
Barcelona gave no financial details except to say that Marquez’s buy-out clause remains unchanged at 100 million euros (149 million dollars).
He joins Eric Abidal, Yaya Toure, Victor Valdes, Pedro Rodriguez, Lionel Messi, Puyol and Andres Iniesta in renewing their contracts with Barcelona.