Sevilla FC have secured three key players as they look to reach the UEFA Champions League for the first time and challenge Spain's top two at home.
The 22-year-old homegrown midfielder Antonio Puerta has signed a five-year contract while French centre-back Julien Escudé, 27, and Brazilian midfielder Renato, 28, have each pledged their future to the UEFA Cup holders for another four years. The deals were struck by sporting director Ramón 'Monchi' Rodríguez, who has himself committed to Sevilla until 2012 today.
Monchi said: "These are three fundamental players for [coach] Juande Ramos's team and the club wanted to reward players that are committed. This is another step towards consolidating our project." Sevilla have just enjoyed their best-ever campaign, after winning the UEFA Super Cup and Copa del Rey as well as defending the UEFA Cup. A third-place finish behind Real Madrid CF and FC Barcelona in the 2006/07 Primera División means they must win a third qualifying round tie in August to earn a first crack at the UEFA Champions League.
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