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Napkin that launched Messi’s Barcelona career to be auctioned for over ₹3 cr | Football News

Considered by many to be the greatest footballer in history, Lionel Messi is the most successful player in FC Barcelona’s fabled history. The Argentine genius departed the Catalan outfit as a free agent in 2021, leaving after winning 34 trophies. During his time with Barcelona, he won ten La Liga titles, seven Copa del Reys and four Champions League trophies.

Lionel Messi's glittering Barcelona career was started with a contract on a napkin.
Lionel Messi’s glittering Barcelona career was started with a contract on a napkin.

Meanwhile, he also summed up his status as national hero in Argentina with the 2022 FIFA World Cup and 2021 Copa America titles. Well, now it looks like memorabilia belonging to Messi will be auctioned for a massive price.

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The memorabilia in question is a napkin used by Carles Rexach, during an important meeting with Messi’s father in 2000. After Messi got a trial with Barcelona in September 2000 first team director Rexach immediately wanted to sign him, but didn’t receive support from the board of directors. So Messi’s father handed Barcelona an ultimatum in December to show their commitment for Messi, and Rexach, who didn’t have any paper at hand, offered a contract on a napkin.

The napkin read, “In Barcelona, on 14 December 2000 and in 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.”

The legendary napkin, which began Messi’s God-like career, shall be for auction for a huge starting price of 300,000 dollars, which is 3,16,82,852 rupees approximately.

Years later, Rexach explained the move to ESPN in 2020. “It was the only thing I had available to hand. I saw the only way to relax Jorge was signing something, giving him some proof, so I asked for a napkin from the waiter,” he said.

Rexach is also a former Barcelona player, spending 44 years with the club, as a player (also youth level) and coach. He won the Pichichi Trophy in 1971 and also played for Spain at the 1978 World Cup.

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