What's Buzzing:

Dirty Tackle

The napkin that started Leo Messi’s career is 12 years old

Ryan Bailey
Dirty Tackle

View photo

Possibly the most important napkin in sporting history (sport.es)

Possibly the most important napkin in sporting history (sport.es)

On Dec. 14, 2000, Barcelona technical secretary Carles Rexach held a meeting at the Pompeia Tennis Club to determine the future of a 13-year-old Argentinean who had shined during a trial with the Catalan club a few months previously.

Rexach was keen to get a deal done with Lionel Messi's father Jorge, so the club could start pumping the youngster full of the growth hormones that would make him a superstar. He drew up a contract on the nearest available piece of paper, which ended up turning a regular napkin into one of the most important sporting documents in history.

It reads:

"In Barcelona, on the 14th of December of 2000 and in the presence of Josep Minguella and Horacio [Gaggioli], Carles Rexach, FCB technical secretary, it commits under his responsibility and despite some views against it to sign the player Lionel Messi, as long as we remain within the amounts agreed upon."

The document is now 12 years old — nearly the same age as Messi when his future was decided on a disposable piece of paper that a Spanish businessman might otherwise have spat his tapas into. The hallowed face wipe was hanging in the office of Messi's lawyer a few years ago, where it presumably still lives today.

Image: sport.es; Translation: dawn.com

Fantasy football advice from the Yahoo! Sports Fantasy Minute:

Other popular content on the Yahoo! network:
David Beckham rejects idea of playing soccer in Australia
Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney sticks landing with 'not impressed' gags
Y! Finance: Movement to remove controversial Gatorade ingredient

Sign up for Yahoo Fantasy Hockey
View Comments (150)
  • Swansea City-Liverpool Preview

    Two managers on very different trajectories go head-to-head at Anfield on Sunday when Liverpool host Swansea City. After a run of just one win in 10 matches across all competitions, Swans boss Garry Monk's future at the club has been thrown into … More »

    AP - Sports - 6 hours ago
  • Shevchenko to join Ukraine coaching staff - report

    Shevchenko to join Ukraine coaching staff - report

    By Igor Nitsak KIEV (Reuters) - Former Ukraine striker Andriy Shevchenko is set to join the national team's coaching staff, the Ukrainian Football 1 channel quoted assistant coach Olexandr Zavarov as saying on Friday. Zavarov, who works under head … More »

    Reuters - 6 hours ago
  • Timbers-FC Dallas Preview

    The end to the Portland Timbers' road struggles came not long after a lopsided defeat to FC Dallas in July. If they avoid another decisive loss in Dallas on Sunday, the Timbers would clinch their first trip to the MLS Cup. Portland is 5-1-1 in its … More »

    AP - Sports - 6 hours ago
  • PSG have had security guards at their players’ homes following Paris attacks

    PSG have had security guards at their players’ homes following Paris attacks

    The French club are taking no chances. … More »

    TheJournal.ie - 7 hours ago
  • Lyon slump to 4-2 home defeat by Montpellier

    Second-placed Olympique Lyonnais were humbled 4-2 at home by mid-table Montpellier in Ligue 1 on Friday as their chances of catching runaway leaders Paris St Germain retreated further. Lyon, eliminated from all European competition in a 2-1 home … More »

    Reuters - 8 hours ago