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Ramos steps up at Sevilla

Sevilla FC's talented Spanish Under-21 defender Sergio Ramos has signed his first professional contract.

Improved terms
The new deal is an improvement on the one-year extension he signed to his existing contract in September, which tied him to Sevilla until June 2008. His wages have been put on a par with his first-team colleagues, his buy-out fee has been upped from €18m to €27m, and he will no longer be eligible for the club's reserve side.

Exciting prospect
The 18-year-old right-back is regarded as one of the most exciting young players in the Primera División, having appeared in five of Sevilla's UEFA Cup fixtures this season.

International experience
A regular for Spain at youth level, Ramos was a member of the team that triumphed at the UEFA European Under-19 Championship finals in Switzerland in 2004. More recently, he has been playing for the U21s. Sevilla will face Panathinaikos FC in the UEFA Cup Round of 32 next month.