Valencia, Spain (SportsNetwork.com) - Valencia manager Nuno Santo has been awarded a new contract by the club after enjoying a strong first season in charge of Los Che.

Santo took over for Juan Antonio Pizzi in July and he has guided the club to fifth place in La Liga through this weekend, one point behind Sevilla for a Champions League place.

After spending two seasons in charge of Rio Ave, Santo signed a one-year contract with Valencia upon his arrival. But that deal has already been extended until 2018 following his positive start to the season.

Valencia ended Real Madrid's 22-game unbeaten streak on Jan. 4 with a 2-1 win and the club has taken 11 points from its last five games.