Messi Napkin Sold For A Whopping £762,000

Messi Napkin Sold For A Whopping £762,000



The napkin that sealed footballer Lionel Messi's transfer to Barcelona over two decades ago has been auctioned off for £762,000.

This extraordinary document, which attained legendary status in the sports world, was presented for sale at Bonhams with an initial bidding price of £300,000 in an online auction that concluded on Friday.

Described by Bonhams as a "standard Spanish waxy napkin," the napkin contains a commitment from the young Argentinian footballer to sign with the club for an agreed fee.

Ian Ehling, head of fine books and manuscripts at Bonhams New York, hailed the sale as "wonderful," expressing excitement over the international attention it garnered.

He remarked, "Since the sale was first announced, it captured international attention and fans all over the world have anticipated this day. What a wonderful result for one of the most thrilling items I have ever handled."

Ehling emphasized the significance of the napkin, noting its role in shaping Messi's career and contributing to FC Barcelona's success on the football pitch.

The laminated and framed napkin, measuring 16.5cm square and inscribed with blue ink, was auctioned on behalf of Argentine agent Horacio Gaggioli, who recommended Messi to the Spanish club.

Messi had undergone a trial with Barcelona in September 2000 at the age of 13. By December of that year, his father Jorge reportedly grew frustrated with the lack of commitment shown by the club.

Barcelona's sporting director Carles Rexach made a decisive move at the Pompeia tennis club, presenting the square napkin in the presence of Josep Minguella, the club's transfer adviser, and Gaggioli.

Rexach penned on the napkin: "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."

The napkin was signed by Rexach, Minguella, and Gaggioli. Later that night, Barcelona president Joan Gaspart confirmed the agreement.

Messi went on to score 672 goals for Barcelona, securing four Champions League titles and 10 La Liga titles during his tenure.

Currently playing for Inter Miami in Major League Soccer in the US, Messi has won the Ballon d'Or eight times and claimed the World Cup with Argentina in 2022.

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