French international goalkeeper Fabien Barthez has signed a two-year contract to keep him at UEFA Cup semi-finalists Olympique de Marseille until 2006.
The 32-year-old FIFA World Cup winner joined Marseille on loan from Manchester United FC in January and, although the English club had already agreed to terminate Barthez's contract at the end of June, the goalkeeper's playing future had been in doubt.
Marseille president Christophe Bouchet said: "He has demonstrated that he really is one of the best goalkeepers in the world and we have signed a contract for two years, which is a good length as it leads up to the  FIFA World Cup."
Barthez, who had a spell at the Vélodrome between 1992 and 1995 that included UEFA Champions League success in 1993, has impressed in helping Marseille reach the last four of the UEFA Cup. The club lie sixth in Ligue 1 with five games remaining.
"I'm have been in the business for 13 years now and first of all I want to enjoy it," said Barthez. "I know that in Marseille I will enjoy it. I came here for that and
I hope I'll finish my career here."
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