The napkin that changed Messi's fate was decided


When talking about Lionel Messi, we cannot ignore the napkin recording the Argentine star’s first contract with Barca. To clarify, the napkin records an event in December 2000 when Messi was only 13 years old. Rexach then arranged a lunch and invited Messi’s father Jorge. Previously, Messi’s family expressed concern about Barcelona’s lack of response about their son.

During this meeting, Rexach was determined to reach an agreement with Jorge. However, Rexach did not prepare contract papers. The Barca director quickly grabbed the nearest piece of tissue on the table and turned it into one of the most important sports documents in history.

This special contract also has the signatures of Josep Minguella, Barca’s transfer consultant, and Horacio Gaggioli, the representative who introduced Messi to the Spanish club. The content of the contract on the napkin clearly states: “In Barcelona, on December 14, 2000, in the presence of Josep Minguella and Horacio Gaggioli, Carles Rexach, technical director of Barcelona, we commit to take responsibility about signing the contract despite some mixed opinions about player Lionel Messi. As long as we honor the financial agreement.”


In a recent online auction in New York (USA), this special napkin was auctioned by the famous British auction house Bonhams. According to Reuters, the napkin was successfully auctioned by a company for 969,000 USD (equivalent to 24.6 billion VND). Ian Ehling, representative of auction house Bonhams, said that since the auction was announced, the napkin has attracted special attention from many fans.

“Yes, it’s a paper napkin, but it’s the famous napkin at the start of Lionel Messi’s career. It changed Messi’s life, Barcelona’s future and brought football’s most glorious moments to billions of fans around the globe. And now it has a new owner,” Ehling added.

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