February 23, 2024

Football enthusiasts around the world are buzzing with excitement as a significant piece of Lionel Messi’s legendary journey is about to hit the auction scene. The iconic napkin bearing Messi’s first-ever contract with FC Barcelona, signed on December 14, 2000, is ready to take center stage at Bonhams, the prestigious British auction house, from March 18 to 27. Brace yourselves for a bidding war, as this piece of history is estimated to fetch an impressive £300,000 to £500,000.

Preserved with utmost care by Messi’s representative at the time, Horacio Gaggioli, this napkin is no ordinary piece of paper. It not only showcases the young prodigy’s signature but also boasts the autographs of Carles Rexach, Barcelona’s technical secretary, and Josep Maria Minguella, the talent scout who first laid eyes on Messi.

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Minguella’s pivotal role in Messi’s journey involved managing the football prodigy’s relocation to Barcelona, ensuring his welfare alongside his father, Jorge. The historic signing took place during a casual lunch at La Reial Societat de Tennis Pompeia in Montjuïc. Carles Rexach, penning a commitment in blue ink, affirmed the official agreement made that significant day, despite differing opinions within the Barcelona camp.

Initially intended for the FC Barcelona museum, this priceless artefact, due to its sheer historical value, is taking a detour to the auction block.

Beyond being a mere collector’s item, this artefact is a symbol of Messi’s transformative impact on FC Barcelona. It symbolizes commitment during a period of uncertainty when the club had mixed feelings about signing the young sensation. Despite Messi’s dazzling skills, some concerns bubbled up regarding his growth. Barcelona, determined to nurture their future star, implemented a special treatment plan to ensure his physical development matched his age.

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Cover Image Source: Twitter