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MX News Update 2024

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Bidding opens for Messi napkin that defined football great’s career

LONDON – Bidding began Wednesday on a napkin on which Barcelona football club wrote a pledge to sign 13-year-old Lionel Messi – who would go on to become one of football’s greatest players. Early bids reached nearly $300,000.

The napkin was signed in December 2000 when Carles Rexach, Barcelona’s sporting director at the time, agreed with agent Horacio Gaggioli to recruit the Argentine teenager who would go on to become the club’s all-time top scorer.

According to the auctioneer’s website, bids for the document, described by auction house Bonhams as “blue ink on a standard Spanish waxy napkin”, reached 220,000 pounds ($274,824.00) shortly after the auction opened.

The online sale closes on May 17 and has a guide price of between £300,000 and £500,000.

“It was never legally binding, but emotionally it represents the deep link or the beginning of the deep link that Messi had with Barcelona,” said Marc Sands, Bonhams’ chief marketing officer.

Messi helped Barcelona win 35 titles, made a record 782 appearances and scored 674 goals. Messi left Barcelona in 2021 and now plays for Inter Miami.

“If you love football, you know all about Lionel Messi and you know that he defined football for generations. If you want a piece of that action, this is what you gotta get,” Sands said. REUTERS