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Napkin used by Barcelona to sign Messi sold for $1.3m

Napkin used by Barcelona to sign Messi sold for $1.3m
A guest looks at a napkin, written on by Barcelona's Sporting Director at that time Carles Rexach on December 14, 2000, promising a contract to secure 13-year-old Lionel Messi for FC Barcelona, on display at Bonhams Auctions in New York City, US on March 6, 2024.
PHOTO: Reuters file

The napkin on which Barcelona promised to sign Lionel Messi when he was a 13-year-old has been sold for 762,400 pounds (S$1.3 million), auction house Bonhams said on Friday (May 17).

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.

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.

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 Football.

"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.

"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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