Signed napkin that secured Messi’s move to Barca sells for $965,000 at auction

May 20 – A white paper restaurant napkin that formally linked a young Lionel Messi to Barcelona was sold at a Bonhams on-line auction on Friday for $968,600.

The starting price for the napkin was $379,000.

The napkin was signed on December 14, 2000 at a Barcelona tennis club in a meeting between Argentine agent Horacio Gaggioli, another agent, Josep Maria Minguella and Barcelona’s then-sporting director, Carles Rexach.

Rexach had asked a waiter for paper and was given a blank napkin.

The napkin contract was intended to appease Messi’s father, Jorge, who was threatening to take Lionel back to Argentina as negotiations had stalled.

It worked. Messi spent nearly 20 years at the club, making his debut in 2004 and playing 17 seasons in the first team. He won the Champions League four times with Barca and the Spanish league 10 times.

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