Messi's first FC Barcelona contract signed on a napkin at auction for €350,000

Renowned British auction house Bonhams will sell the piece at the end of March

Movie still from 'Messi', a documentary by Álex de la Iglesia
Movie still from 'Messi', a documentary by Álex de la Iglesia / Mediapro
Catalan News

Catalan News | @catalannews | Barcelona

January 31, 2024 05:26 PM

January 31, 2024 05:41 PM

The famous napkin on which FC Barcelona signed Leo Messi in December 2000, when the Argentine star was just 13 years old, will be auctioned between March 18 and 27. 

The renowned British auction house Bonhams will put the piece up for sale with an expected starting price of around £300,000, approximately €350,000

Until now, the napkin has been kept in a deposit box belonging to Horacio Gaggioli, the middleman who brought him to Camp Nou. 

Messi made his Barcelona debut at the age of 16 in a friendly against Porto in 2003. He dedicated two decades to the Catalan club before leaving in 2021, after winning 34 trophies, including ten La Liga titles, seven Copa del Rey titles and three UEFA Champions League victories. 

The napkin deal: How it happened 

On December 14, 2000, Messi's family met with Josep Maria Minguella, the agent who discovered the Argentine star, and football coach Carles Rexach.   

The Messi family was worried because the agreement between FC Barcelona and the player was not finalized, and since the club offices were closed, Rexachhad the idea to sign it on a napkin in the bar where the meeting took place.   

There he wrote: "In Barcelona, on December 14, 2000, in the presence of Mr. Minguella and Horacio, Carles Rexach, technical secretary of FC Barcelona, commits, under his responsibility and in spite of some opinions to the contrary, to sign the player Lionel Messi, provided that we maintain the amounts agreed upon".