Teamwork makes the dream work

Messi’s well-known Barcelona serviette public sale opens in London


The public sale for the serviette that famously launched Lionel Messi‘s Barcelona profession as a 13-year-old opened this week with a information worth of £300,000-£500,000 ($374,700-$624,500).

Bidding for the merchandise stands at £220,000 and shall be open with the British public sale home Bonhams till Could 17.

Stream on ESPN+: LaLiga, Bundesliga, extra (U.S.)
Barcelona, Lionel Messi and the serviette: Oral historical past of his switch, organized 20 years in the past

The sale was initially slated for for March however was postponed attributable to a dispute over the possession of the serviette, which has been within the fingers of Horacio Gaggioli, an Argentine agent, for the final 20 years.

Josep Minguella, one other adviser concerned within the deal to convey Messi over from Argentina, claimed possession of the serviette following the information it might be auctioned earlier this 12 months.

Gaggioli disputed this, whereas Bonhams informed ESPN there have been “no issues” relating to the sale of the serviette, which is listed on their web site as “property of Horacio Gaggioli.”

Minguella has not replied to ESPN’s request for remark. With Messi’s father, Jorge, starting to doubt Barça’s dedication to his son in 2000, the membership’s director of soccer on the time, Carles Rexach, unexpectedly scrambled collectively an settlement on a serviette.

It was signed by Rexach, Minguella, who had helped convey Messi over from South America, and Gaggioli, who helped dealer the deal, serving as a promise for a primary contract.

Since then, it has remained underneath the possession of Gaggioli in a safe vault in Andorra, the Principality to the north of Barcelona sandwiched between Spain and France.

Negotiations for it to be included into Barça’s museum on the membership’s Spotify Camp Nou stadium broke down prior to now.

The serviette was initially signed on Dec. 14, 2000, at a tennis membership in Barcelona after Rexach had obtained a frantic name from Jorge Messi threatening to take his son again to Argentina.

“That was when, considering on my ft, I made a decision the whole lot,” Rexach informed ESPN in 2020 to mark the twentieth anniversary of the signing.

“Why a serviette? As a result of it was the one factor I had out there handy. I noticed the one technique to chill out Jorge was signing one thing, giving him some proof, so I requested for a serviette from the waiter.

“I wrote: ‘In Barcelona, on 14 December 2000 and within the presence of Messrs Minguella and Horacio, Carles Rexach, FC Barcelona’s sporting director, hereby agrees, underneath his accountability and no matter any dissenting opinions, to signal the participant Lionel Messi, offered that we preserve to the quantities agreed upon.’

“I informed Jorge that my signature was there and that there have been witnesses, that with my title I might take direct accountability, there was nothing else to speak about and to be affected person for a couple of days as a result of Leo may already think about himself a Barca participant.”

Messi, who now performs for MLS aspect Inter Miami, went on to turn into Barça’s biggest ever participant, making extra appearances (778) and scoring extra targets (672) than anybody else who has performed for the membership.

Throughout over 20 years in Barcelona, he gained 10 LaLiga titles, seven Copas del Rey and 4 Champions League trophies whereas taking part in for the membership earlier than becoming a member of Paris Saint-Germain and later Inter Miami.

Individually, he has gained the Ballon d’Or a file eight instances and has additionally been named The Greatest FIFA Males’s Participant on three events.

Worldwide success with Argentina had eluded him till just lately, however he lastly gained the Copa América in 2021 and the World Cup in 2022 to go together with the Olympic Gold Medal he gained in 2008.