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September 07, 2005

Ronaldinho stays in Barcelona: Happy ending

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Brazilian striker Ronaldinho Gaucho said he never considered leaving Barcelona after signing a contract extension which keeps him at the Spanish champions until 2010. "I never saw myself in any other place but Barca. I only listened to their offer and wasn't interested in what other clubs were doing," he told a news conference on Thursday.

"I am very happy in this side and this type of contentment doesn't have a price. I want for nothing here and look forward to staying for many years."

Barcelona embarked on a policy of renewing their key players' contracts after winning the Primera Liga title last May.

Striker Samuel Eto'o, midfielders Xavi and Deco and goalkeeper Victor Valdes had their deals extended until 2010 but it took some intense negotiations to finalise the Brazilian's deal, which Barcelona had hoped would keep him with them to 2014.

Barca said the player's buy-out clause had been increased to 125 million euros ($154.8 million), while there was room in the contract to allow a further extension to the deal.

"I am very pleased it has all been resolved. I wanted to stay at the club and they wanted me too, there was never a problem. There were only a few small matters to sort out," said Ronaldinho.

"There was an option to extend till 2014 but the contract we have was perfect for both sides.

"It doesn't change much for me really and my motivation remains the same - to create a beautiful future with Barcelona, winning many titles."

The 25-year-old joined Barcelona from Paris St Germain on a five-year deal for a fee of 25 million euros in 2003.

He inspired the Catalans to their first Primera Liga title in six years last season, and helped them win the Spanish Super Cup in August.