Messi’s first contract napkin was finally auctioned, the exorbitant amount paid for this soccer treasure

Lionel Messi’s first contract napkin has a new owner as it has been sold at an auction.

By Emmanuel Mendez

Lionel Messi touches the ball with his foot wearing an Inter Miami kit while his napkin contract is next to him.
Lionel Messi touches the ball with his foot wearing an Inter Miami kit while his napkin contract is next to him.
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Lionel Messi is a football legend, and what he has done throughout his career is legendary. From his long time at FC Barcelona, winning the biggest titles in Europe, to lifting the 2022 World Cup with Argentina, Messi has done it all, and none of this was possible unless Barcelona offered a young boy a contract from a napkin. The famous story of how Messi first joined FC Barcelona amazes everyone as the young 13-year-old agreed to move to Spain to start his football career. The napkin with Messi’s signature was auctioned, and it was finally sold yesterday for a total price of $𝟗𝟔𝟒,𝟒𝟓𝟎. The starting price was up to $379,000, which was set by the British auction house Bonhams on behalf of Horacio Gaggioli, an agent from Argentina who was part of the deal.

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The Messi napkin includes details of when the signature was made and how it was agreed upon to join the Catalan club. It reads, “In Barcelona, on December 14, 2000, and in the presence of the gentleman (the agent, Josep Maria) Minguella and Horacio (Gaggioli), Carles Rexach, technical secretary of FCB, commits under his responsibility, despite the opinion of others who are against signing Lionel Messi, as long as the agreed fees are maintained.”

The head of fine books and manuscripts at Bonhams New York, Ian Ehling, spoke to The Athletic about having the napkin at his auction. Ethling said, “This is one of the most thrilling items I have ever handled. 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.”

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Lionel Messi’s next game for Inter Miami

Lionel Messi was out in the last Inter Miami match in the MLS against their rivals, Orlando City. The Argentine star was not played as a precaution, but he is expected to play in the match against DC United at the Chase Stadium. Inter Miami is first in the Eastern Conference with 28 points after 14 games played, while DC United is 8th with 17 points after 13 games played.

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