Video: Lionel Messi’s napkin contract
Not quite but the back of a fag packet but pretty close
Not too many used paper napkins have a lifespan of 10 years. But the one signed by Lionel Messi on December 14, 2000, to secure his move to Barcelona is still going strong and takes pride of place in the office of his lawyer.
The Argentinian kid was already hot property among Europe’s elite, but Messi’s dad wanted him to sign for Barcelona. In fact he was so keen for him to sign for Barca, he wanted to ensure they signed him before the end of dinner.
A little improvisation had to come into play.
According to the Telegraph:
Messi made a massive impression on that first visit as a 13-year-old, running rings around the big kids in Barça’s already outstanding youth teams and his father threatened to fly him back home if the club didn’t sign him straight away. So Charly Rexach, the club’s sporting director, called for the barman at their restaurant meeting and scribbled a contract on what now hangs in Messi’s lawyer’s office as the most celebrated paper napkin in sporting history.
“He is priceless now,” beams Rexach.
Thankfully, the lawyer not had cause to serviette a writ to Barca yet!
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