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Napkin which sealed Lionel Messi's Barcelona move sells for crazy amount at auction

Napkin which sealed Lionel Messi's Barcelona move sells for crazy amount at auction

The GOAT was signed aged 13 by the Catalan giants and it was sealed on the 'world's most iconic napkin'

The famous napkin which sealed Lionel Messi's move to Barcelona when he was a teenager has gone under the hammer at auction for hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Messi signed for the Camp Nou side when he was just 13, moving from his native Argentina to Spain and joining the club's famed La Masia academy.

The rest, as they say, is history - after making his debut not long after turning 16 in 2004, Messi went on to score an incredible 672 goals in 778 games for the club.

During his time at Barcelona up to his departure in 2021, Messi won seven of his eight Ballon d'Ors and picked up a host of winners' medals with the Camp Nou outfit.

Messi won La Liga 10 times and also won four Champions League titles with Barca, before leaving for Paris Saint-Germain in 2021.

Messi won two Ligue 1 titles in the French capital, and now at the age of 36 has moved to MLS side Inter Miami, where he has won the 2023 Leagues Cup.

Moreover, with Argentina he became a World Cup winner in 2022 after the defeat of the French in the final, just a year after claiming the 2021 Copa America title.

The story of how Messi joined Barcelona is well known, with it being sealed on a napkin in December 2000.

Lionel Messi. (

The napkin reads: "In Barcelona, on 14 December 2000 and the presence of Messrs Minguella and Horacio, Carles Rexach, FC Barcelona's sporting director, hereby agrees, under his responsibility and regardless of any dissenting opinions, to sign the player Lionel Messi, provided that we keep to the amounts agreed upon."

And that napkin, offered to Bonhams on behalf of Argentine agent, Horacio Gaggioli, has now sold for a remarkable £762,000, with the asking price having started at £300,000.

The auction ran online from May 8 to May 17.

Ian Ehling, Head of Fine Books and Manuscripts at Bonhams New York, said: "Since the sale was first announced it captured international attention and fans all over the world have anticipated this day.

"What a wonderful result for 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."

Featured Image Credit: Getty/Bonhams

Topics: Lionel Messi, FC Barcelona, Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain, Inter Miami