Messi's debut Barcelona contract napkin to go up for auction

February 2, 2024, 9:31 am

ISTANBUL – The napkin Lionel Messi’s first Barcelona deal was informally written on will go to auction, Bonhams International Auction House has confirmed.

"This is 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," Ian Ehling, head of Fine Books and Manuscripts at Bonhams New York, said in a statement Wednesday.

"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."

Bonhams added that it would run the auction for the napkin in blue ink in London between March 18 and 27 on behalf of Argentine agent, Horacio Gaggioli, with a starting price of 300,000 British pounds (USD381,000).

Messi won eight Ballon d'Or awards, the most coveted personal trophy for footballers.

The Argentine superstar has broken numerous records, including Barcelona’s all-time top scorer. In 2012, he achieved a historic feat by scoring 91 goals in all competitions, surpassing the previous record held by Gerd Muller.

The 36-year-old won numerous titles at Barcelona, including 10 Spanish La Liga titles and four UEFA Champions League titles.

He has won 44 trophies, including the 2021 Copa America and the 2022 World Cup with Argentina.

In 2022, he captained Argentina to win the World Cup in the 2022 final against France in a penalty shootout after a 3-3 draw at Doha's Lusail Stadium. (Anadolu)