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Atletico midfielder Garcia signs new deal

Posted on Feb 18 2014 | IANS

Madrid, Feb 18 : Spanish BBVA Primera Liga club Atletico Madrid announced that midfielder Raul Garcia has signed a contract extension to keep him at the Vicente Caldeorn Stadium until the end of June 2018.

The move means that the midfielder, who was signed from Pamplona based Osasuna in 2007, will continue his career at the club he has looked like leaving a couple of years ago, when he returned to Osasuna on loan for the 2011-12 season, reported Xinhua.

That campaign saw Garcia rediscover his form, scoring 11 goals in 33 appearances, and winning the confidence of Atletico coach Diego Simeone.

Last season, Garcia was a key part of the Atletico squad, scoring nine goals in all competitions and this season he has been even more important with seven goals in the BBVA Primera Liga, including the opening goal in Saturday's 3-0 win over Valladolid.

"I am very happy with the agreement, both the club and I wanted to reach it and I am very happy here. Now, I have to keep on working to try and reach our objectives," said Garcia on the club web site after putting pen to paper.

Sporting Director Jose Luis Caminero said, "Raul has earned his new contact with his good work. He has been a very consistent player in recent seasons and he is one of the strongmen in the dressing room. He gives us as much in defence as in attack. We are very pleased with this agreement and we hope he carries on here for many years."

Garcia has made 259 appearances for Atletico in total, scoring 36 goals and his new contact means that the future of the club looks secure given that since the summer of 2012, a total of 14 players have signed new deals assuring the future of the squad.

Wednesday sees Atletico play the first leg of their Champions League last 16 tie away to AC Milan in the San Siro Stadium in what will be a massive test for Simeone's side, who are level on points with FC Barcelona at the top of Spain's BBVA Primera Liga.

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