Monday, June 17, 2024

Napkin Used by Barcelona to Sign 13-Year-Old Lionel Messi Sold for Nearly $1 Million

Bonhams, an auction house, announced on Friday that the napkin used by Barcelona to secure Lionel Messi’s signature has been sold for £762,400. Messi was only 13 years old when Barcelona agreed to sign him using this napkin.

The napkin was signed during a lunch meeting at a tennis club in December 2000. Those who signed it were Barca’s former sporting director Carles Rexach, transfer advisor Josep Minguella, and Argentine agent Horacio Gaggioli.

Initially valued at £300,000, the napkin measures 16.5 x 16.5 cm and has been laminated and framed. It includes a written agreement in Spanish, translated into English as: “In Barcelona, on 14 December 2000 and in the presence of Messrs Minguella and Horacio, Carles Rexach, FC Barcelona’s sporting director, hereby agrees, under his responsibility and regardless of any dissenting opinions, to sign the player Lionel Messi, provided that we keep to the amounts agreed upon.”

This napkin is symbolic as it marked the beginning of Messi’s extraordinary career. During his time with Barcelona, Messi achieved remarkable success, winning more than 30 trophies and becoming the club’s all-time leading scorer with 672 goals.

Messi has also been recognized with a record eight Ballon d’Or awards, given to the world’s best player, and played a pivotal role in Argentina winning the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Currently, he plays for Inter Miami in Major League Soccer (MLS).

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