Gerard Pique has extended his Barca contract until 2022. Photo: Alejandro Garcia/BackpagePix

BARCELONA – Resurgent Barcelona were given a fresh boost Thursday when key defender Gerard Pique signed a contract extension until 2022.

Having recently lost Brazilian superstar Neymar in an aggressive contract buy out by Paris Saint-Germain, Barcelona have put a 500 million euros ($611 million) buy-out clause in Pique's new contract.

The 30-year-old joined Barcelona from Manchester United in 2008 and has proved an increasingly steady presence as centre-back for them.

The 1.94m Pique was part of the Spain side that won the 2010 World Cup and the 2012 European Championships.

Barcelona currently top the Spanish League with a nine points lead over Atletico Madrid, but are an impressive 19 points clear of fourth placed arch-rivals Real Madrid.