Napkin Scribbled with Lionel Messi’s First Barcelona Agreement Auctioned for £220,000

The Legendary Napkin Contract of Lionel Messi Goes up for Auction

In an unprecedented move, a piece of football history has hit the auction block. The napkin that held the first informal agreement between Lionel Messi and FC Barcelona, signed when he was just 13 years old, is now on sale.

A Historic Moment in Football History

The napkin, bearing the initial agreement between Messi and FC Barcelona, is on sale at an auction run by Bonhams, a renowned international auction house based in London. The auction, which will run until May 17, starts with a base price of £220,000 ($274.55k). The sale is being managed on behalf of Argentine player agent Horacio Gaggioli.

Barcelona’s Leap of Faith

The agreement on the napkin dates back to December 14, 2000. At the time, Messi, barely a teenager, had returned to his hometown Rosario in Argentina after a two-week trial with Barcelona. Despite Messi’s impressive performance, the club was hesitant to sign such a young, non-European player.

The Decision That Changed Football Forever

With the prospect of losing Messi to other clubs, Barcelona director Carles Rexach took a leap of faith. In a meeting with Gaggioli, Rexach wrote down the contractual terms on a napkin and had it signed, creating a legally binding agreement.

The Napkin That Altered the Course of Football

The napkin, signed by Rexach, Gaggioli, and football agent Josep Maria Minguella, made a commitment to sign Messi despite opposition. This historic document not only changed Messi’s life and the future of FC Barcelona but also brought joy to billions of football fans worldwide.

Where Will the Napkin End Up?

Despite its humble beginnings, the napkin has been securely stored in a safe inside a bank in Andorra. Now, as it hits the auction block, questions arise about its rightful ownership and future. Minguella, who had the napkin in his office for years, had offered it to Barcelona to be displayed in the club’s museum. However, with no response, he now seeks legal advice to determine the rightful owner. His wish is for the proceeds from the sale to go to the club’s foundation.

As we wait for the auction to conclude, this unprecedented event serves as a reminder of the unpredictability and excitement that sports bring. It makes us wonder what other iconic sports memorabilia might soon find their way to the auction block.