Lionel Messi's first Barca contract signed on napkin to be auctioned
Lionel Messi won numerous silverware at Barcelona
The December 2000 serviette bears the signature of Carles Rexach, the then-director of Barcelona, who promised to sign Messi.
Along with Horacio Gaggioli, an agency that suggested the Argentine, Josep Minguella, a transfer counsellor to the Spanish club, also signed it.
A month later, Messi became Barca’s all-time leading goal scorer. In 778 games, he produced 672 goals for the Catalan club since making his debut at the age of 16.
Before moving to Paris St. Germain in 2021, Messi, now 36, won four Champions League trophies and ten La Liga crowns with Barcelona.
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The serviette was signed during a meeting set up by Rexach, who met Messi’s father Jorge for lunch as a reaction to the family’s worries over Barcelona’s silence after the adolescent’s first trial.
The agreement on the serviette is written in blue ink and says:
“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.”
“Yes, it’s a paper napkin, but it’s the famous napkin that was at the inception of Lionel Messi’s career.
“It changed the life of Messi, the future of FC Barcelona, and was instrumental in giving some of the most glorious moments of football to billions of fans around the globe.”
In March, the British auction house Bonhams will be putting the serviette up for bid.
Ian Ehling, head of Bonhams’ fine volumes and writings, said: “This is one of the most exciting things I have ever handled.
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