Lionel Messi has come a long way since first signing for Barcelona at 2000.
The maestro of the game boasts some serious achievements: Five Ballon d’Ors, nine La Liga titles, six Copa Del Reys, four Champions Leagues and 566 goals for Barcelona.
And, it’s quite mind-boggling to think that all of this started with a simple napkin 18 years ago.
Many people know that his first contract was written on a napkin. Now, we have come to know what was actually written in the contract.
As per Sport, technical secretary Carles Rexach and Horacio Gaggioli, who was Messi’s contact in Spain and had threatened to offer the player to Real Madrid, played tennis and then had lunch with Josep Maria Minguella, another agent with links to Barca.
Joan Gaspart, Barca’s president at the time, thought there were some risks in signing Messi but Rexach elected to write out the following contract on the napkin, signed by all three members present.
“In Barcelona, on December 14, 2000 and in the presence of Messrs. Minguella and Horacio, Carlos Rexach, Technical Secretary of F.C.B. is committed under his responsibility and despite some opinions against signing the player Lionel Messi as long as we maintain the agreed amounts.”
This picture here is of a 13 y.o. Lionel Messi's first professional contract; on a paper napkin. Carles Rexach, Barcelona's manager, didn't have any paper nearby, but his urgency to sign Messi made him write the contract on a napkin lying around him.
[14 Dec, 2000; Barcelona] #7 pic.twitter.com/vyhcTOiwbC
— Iconic Football Photos™ (@IconicFP) August 8, 2018
Everything became official from then on and Messi started his journey in Catalonia, turning out for the youth sides, C and B teams before making the step up to the first-team.