Lionel Messi signed first Barcelona contract on napkin – and it’s safely protected today

by | 17 October, 2022 | Ligue 1 News

Lionel Messi announced his tearful Barcelona exit in 2021

Lionel Messi announced his tearful Barcelona exit in 2021

Superstar Lionel Messi incredibly signed his first professional contract on a napkin – and it’s still safe to this day.

When little Leo hopped across the Atlantic Ocean with Barcelona calling, it took just one trial match to convince Carles Rexach, Barca’s sporting director, he was their guy. Rexach hastily scribbled down the contract on the napkin to snap the 13-year-old up.

It read: “In Barcelona, on Dec. 14, 2000, in the presence of [Josep Maria] Minguella and Horacio [Gaggioli], Carles Rexach, FC Barcelona’s sporting director, hereby agrees, under his responsibility and regardless of any dissenting opinions, to sign the player Lionel Messi provided that we keep to the amounts agreed upon.”

Little did they know then what Messi would go on to achieve in Catalonia as he rose to become the world’s best player – perhaps ever.

Amazingly, the napkin is still intact, and it has since been framed and stored in an Andorran bank for safekeeping. However, there have been calls for the napkin to be relocated to the Barcelona club museum – where football fans can see the piece of history.

Horacio Gaggioli, who was key in Barcelona signing Messi, said: “I don’t know why it isn’t already on display there.