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

View Comments (151)
  • Ex-FIFA official asks to live at home with pool tied to alleged bribe

    Ex-FIFA official asks to live at home with pool tied to alleged bribe

    By David Ingram NEW YORK (Reuters) - A former high-ranking soccer official charged with soliciting bribes, including $500,000 that allegedly went to build a swimming pool at his house, wants to stay in that house near Atlanta while he awaits trial, … More »

    Reuters - 1 hour 51 minutes ago
  • Alex Morgan hopes last injury was the last

    Alex Morgan hopes last injury was the last

    Alex Morgan hopes she's emerging from her last injury layoff for a while. Morgan has returned from a minor procedure on her right knee and expects to play in what could be the Portland Thorns' final home game of the season. It's been a … More »

    AP - Sports - 2 hours 52 minutes ago
  • Surprise Europa League defeats for Steaua and Southampton

    Surprise Europa League defeats for Steaua and Southampton

    LONDON (Reuters) - Former European champions Steaua Bucharest and English Premier League Southampton suffered shock defeats by Scandinavian teams in Europa League qualifiers on Thursday. Steaua, who beat Barcelona 2-0 on penalties in the final of … More »

    Reuters - 3 hours ago
  • Arsenal-Newcastle United Preview

    Arsenal and Newcastle United are set to clash on Saturday at St James' Park, with both sides hoping to take three points following scoreless draws last week. Arsenal were upset to settle for their point at the Emirates against Liverpool after it … More »

    AP - Sports - 3 hours ago
  • Leicester City-Bournemouth Preview

    Fresh off their first Premier League win in club history, Bournemouth will take on one of the division's most in-form clubs in Leicester City on Saturday afternoon. Eddie Howe's Bournemouth produced a sensational performance to beat West Ham 4-3 … More »

    AP - Sports - 4 hours ago