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Lionel Messi’s Unique Start at Barcelona: The Napkin Contract

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In an unusual piece of football history, the first-ever contract of football legend Lionel Messi with Barcelona is for sale.

The contract was famously written on a napkin and symbolises the beginning of Messi’s extraordinary journey with Barcelona when he was just 13 years old, back in December 2000.

Messi, who later became Barcelona’s all-time leading scorer, joined the club a month after this napkin agreement and enjoyed a stellar 17-year career there. During his time with the Spanish giants, he celebrated 10 Spanish League titles and four Champions League victories before moving to Paris St-Germain in 2021.

The napkin contract is expected to attract bids over $800,000NZD. It was signed during a lunch meeting arranged by Barcelona’s then director Carles Rexach, who met with Messi’s father, Jorge, following Lionel’s impressive trial with the club.