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HomeOther SportsThe Promised Barça Contract Signed by Lionel Messi is being auctioned off...

The Promised Barça Contract Signed by Lionel Messi is being auctioned off on a napkin

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Amidst the surge in demand in soccer memorabilia, the napkin has been displayed in New York to generate buzz before the auction begins on March 18.

To the uneducated eye, it could appear to be just another used napkin. However, the serviette, which is projected to bring up to $635,000, was soccer legend Lionel Messi’s springboard to greatness at FC Barcelona, as it marks the promise of a contract offered to him when he was 13 years old. The napkin has been displayed in New York to generate curiosity ahead of the auction’s start date of March 18, amid a backdrop of growing demand in soccer memorabilia.

Although the official estimate ranges from $380,000 to $635,000, Ian Ehling, Bonhams New York’s head of fine books and manuscripts, stated, “I do expect it to sell for much more.”

A set of six shirts that number 10 wore during Argentina’s 2022 World Cup victory in Qatar sold for $7.8 million at Sotheby’s auction last December, surpassing initial estimates.

Numerous profiles of “Leo” Messi, one of the best soccer players ever, have previously told the napkin narrative. Messi currently plays for Inter Miami.At the age of 13, Messi was seen by Barcelona. He was born in 1987 into a working-class family in Rosario, which is located roughly 300 kilometers (186 miles) north of Buenos Aires.

Messi’s dad was getting impatient as the purchase took a long time to close and not everyone present was persuaded.

This was before a crucial meeting between Carles Rexach, the club’s sporting director, and agents Horacio Gaggioli and Josep Minguella took place at a tennis club in Barcelona on December 14, 2000.

Rexach went for the napkin, scrawled something in blue ink to affirm the club’s interest: “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 placeholder agreement was retained by Argentine agency Gaggioli for nearly 25 years until he decided to sell, although a proper contract would eventually be drafted.

Messi played for Barcelona until 2021, winning the Spanish league ten times while there and setting the record with 474 goals.

This is the history of Messi’s career from the beginning. It’s really amazing,” remarked Ehling.

It will be seen in Paris and London following its debut in New York, before going up for auction on March 27.

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