Published: 09:25, May 18, 2024
Napkin used by Barcelona to sign Messi sold for nearly $1 million
By Reuters
A napkin on which was written the first promise of a contract to secure 13-year-old Lionel Messi for FC Barcelona, is on display at Bonhams, New York, on March 5, 2024. (PHOTO / AFP)

The napkin on which Barcelona promised to sign Lionel Messi when he was a 13-year-old has been sold for 762,400 pounds ($969,000), auction house Bonhams said on Friday.

The napkin was signed in December, 2000 by Barca's former sporting director Carles Rexach and transfer advisor Josep Minguella along with Argentine agent Horacio Gaggioli over lunch at a tennis club.

A napkin on which was written the first promise of a contract to secure 13-year-old Lionel Messi for FC Barcelona, is on display at Bonhams, New York, on March 5, 2024. (PHOTO / AFP)

Messi became one of Barcelona's greatest players, winning over 30 trophies and leaving the Catalan club as their all-time leading scorer with 672 goals

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He also won a record eight Ballon d'Or awards for the world's best player and led Argentina to the World Cup crown in 2022. Messi now plays for US club Inter Miami in Major League Soccer.

This handout picture taken on April 17, 2021 and released by the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) shows Barcelona's Argentinian forward Lionel Messi celebrating with the trophy at the end of the Spanish Copa del Rey (King's Cup) final football match between Athletic Club Bilbao and FC Barcelona at La Cartuja stadium in Seville. (PHOTO / AFP)

"Yes, it's a paper napkin, but it's the famous napkin that was at the inception of Lionel Messi's career," Ian Ehling, the head of fine books and manuscripts at Bonhams New York, said in a statement.

READ MORE: Napkin Messi signed to join Barcelona goes to auction

"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."