Credit: X

Credit: X

The World’s most famous napkin that was used to seal the Argentina legend Lionel Messi’s Barcelona move 25 years ago has been sold at an auction. The auction garnered €890,000 ($965,000), according to the British auction house Bonhams. Additionally, a more undisclosed percentage of the sale price administrative fees has been put for the online auction, in what’s being referred to as the buyer’s premium.

The napkin goes about 25 years back when the eight-time Ballon d’Or winner was just 13 years old and was about to sign his first contract with the Spanish club Barcelona. For signing the agreement, the then-young Messi used the napkin to sign the principal agreement at a Barcelona tennis club. A more precise and formal contract with the club followed soon. 

The contract, which was written in blue ink, was intended to make sure Messi’s father, Jorge Messi, that the club’s deal would go long through in the future. It had to be done owing to Jorge’s threat to the club that he would take his son back cause of stalled negotiations with the club. 

The napkin contained the date of December 2000 when Messi signed the contract and it also included the signatures of Horacio Gaggioli, an agent from Messi’s country, Josep Maria Minguella, and Barcelona’s then sporting director Carles Rexach, who met a tennis club. Also, according to the Bonhams, the auction was on behalf of Gaggioli, who was one of the key parts of the deal back then. 

Lionel Messi’s career in professional football started with Barcelona only at the age of 13 when he was part of the youth squad. He made his debut in 2004 and went on to play for 17 seasons with the main squad before moving to PSG and eventually to Inter Miami. Under his tenure, Messi helped the club clinch all the major trophies including Champions League and the Spanish League 10 times.