February 28, 2019 / 3:23 PM / 5 months ago

Soccer: Barca extend Alba's contract, include release clause

Soccer Football - Copa del Rey - Semi Final Second Leg - Real Madrid v FC Barcelona - Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid, Spain - February 27, 2019 Barcelona's Jordi Alba reacts REUTERS/Susana Vera

BARCELONA (Reuters) - Barcelona have agreed to extend left back Jordi Alba’s contract until 2024, the La Liga leaders said in a statement on Thursday, and have included an eye-watering buy-out clause of 500 million euros ($569 million).

Spain international Alba has played 282 games for Barca since re-joining from Valencia in 2012 after being released by the club as a teenager, winning 14 trophies including four La Liga titles, four Copa del Reys and the 2015 Champions League.

Alba, 29, has been capped 67 times by Spain and was part of the side that won the 2012 European Championship.

The full back has grown in importance to the team since Ernesto Valverde took over as coach in 2017 and has a good understanding with Lionel Messi, providing 20 assists for the Argentine forward.

Reporting by Richard Martin, editing by Ed Osmond

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