VfB Stuttgart have handed their Croatian captain Zvonimir Soldo a contract extension until 2005.
The former Croatian international joined the club in 1996, and has become a key player for the 2002/03 Bundesliga runners-up. Although he turned 36 in November, the midfielder has been virtually ever-present this season, missing just one league game as Stuttgart have challenged for the title. Felix Magath's side are fourth in the table, four points behind leaders SV Werder Bremen.
Soldo helped Stuttgart win the German Cup in 1996/97, and then featured in the club's run to the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup final the following season, where they lost to Chelsa FC. Soldo and Stuttgart meet the English side again in the Champions League first knockout round, with the first leg to be played in Germany on 25 February.