Lionel Messi’s illustrious journey with Barcelona had an unconventional beginning—an iconic contract signed on a simple napkin. This extraordinary relic of football history is now poised to hit the auction block, with an initial bid starting at 300,000 pounds (USD 379,000).

On it was written, “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.” (They Are Sharing Wives: Mikel Arteta’s Explosive Press Meet About Ben White And Oleksandr Zinchenko Sets Internet On Fire – WATCH)

The renowned British auction house, Bonhams, is orchestrating the online auction scheduled to run from March 18 to 27. The auction represents Horacio Gaggioli, an agent from Messi’s homeland of Argentina, who played a crucial role in the agreement. (Mohun Bagan Super Giant vs East Bengal, Indian Super League (ISL) Football Live Score)

Dated December 14, 2000, the napkin boasts the signatures of Gaggioli, along with another agent, Josep Maria Minguella, and Carles Rexach, the then-sporting director of Barcelona. This historic moment unfolded at a tennis club in Barcelona, solidifying the initial agreement to sign Messi. The makeshift contract served as a reassuring gesture to his father, Jorge Messi, signaling the solidity of the deal. Following this informal pact, a more formal and comprehensive contract with the club was promptly arranged.

Laporta: “Whoever buys Leo Messi’s napkin should hand it over to the club museum. We will not enter into any auctions.”
 Barça Universal (@BarcaUniversal) February 2, 2024

Ian Ehling, heading the department of fine books and manuscripts at Bonhams New York, expressed his enthusiasm, deeming this artifact one of the most captivating he’s come across. Despite its humble origin as a paper napkin, its significance resonates through football history, forever altering Messi’s trajectory and Barcelona’s destiny, creating countless indelible moments for fans worldwide.

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