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    ‘World’s most famous napkin’ used by Barcelona to complete Lionel Messi transfer aged 13 sells for £760,000 at auction

    THE napkin that Lionel Messi signed to promise he would join Barcelona has been sold at auction.Messi, 36, was famously signed by the Spanish giants after club chiefs put pen to napkin on a deal to sign the then 13-year-old.The napkin used to sign Lionel Messi for Barcelona has sold for nearly $1millionCredit: GettyThe napkin was signed in December 2000 to bring Messi to SpainCredit: ReutersBonhams Auctions said it had sold for a massive fee on FridayCredit: ReutersIt was signed in December 2000 by former Barca sporting director Carles Rexach, transfer advisor Josep Minguella and Argentine agent Horacio Gaggioli over lunch at a tennis club.Messi then joined the Spanish side’s youth set up from Newell’s Old Boys before going on to make his debut in 2004.From there the attacker went on to become the club’s best ever player with a record 672 goals scored as well as more than 30 trophies. On his journey with Barcelona he also won six Ballon d’Or titles, before landing a seventh while with Paris Saint-Germain and an eighth with Inter Miami after winning the World Cup in 2022.READ MORE IN FOOTBALLMessi’s exploits have made the napkin story famous, and it was finally given a financial figure for its worth when it was sold.Auction house Bonhams said on Friday that the napkin had been sold for a staggering £762,4000 or $969,000.Ian Ehling,the head of fine books and manuscripts at Bonhams New York said: “Yes, it’s a paper napkin, but it’s the famous napkin that was at the inception of Lionel Messi’s career.”It changed the life of Messi, the future of FC Barcelona, and was instrumental in giving some of the most glorious moments of football to billions of fans around the globe.”Most read in FootballBEST FREE BET SIGN UP OFFERS FOR UK BOOKMAKERSMessi had a tearful exit from the Blaugrana in 2021.He would spend two playing in Paris before moving to David Beckham’s Major League Soccer franchise in Miami.Football Food Tour: Behind the Scenes of Hospitality at Inter Miami, with incredible foodMessi career stats

    Barcelona: 778 games. 672 goals. 303 assists.
    10x LaLiga titles. 4x Champions League titles. 3x Club World Cup. 7x Spanish Cup winner. 3x Uefa Supercup winner. 8x Spanish Supercup winner.
    PSG: 75 games. 32 goals. 35 assists.
    2x Ligue 1 titles. 1x French Supercup winner.
    Inter Miami: 26 games. 23 goals. 16 assists.
    1x Leagues Cup winner.
    Argentina: 180 games. 106 goals. 56 assists.
    1x World Cup winner. 1x Copa America winner. 1x 2008 Olympic Gold Medallist.
    Individual: 8x Ballon d’Or wins. 8x The Best Fifa Men’s Player wins. 3x Uefa Best Player in Europe. 10x Player of the Year.


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    David Beckham had the worst haircuts and dress sense of anyone I’ve ever played with, says cheeky former team-mate

    ROBERTO CARLOS says David Beckham had the worst hair and clothes of anyone he ever played with.  The Brazilian legend, 51, aimed a cheeky dig at his former Real Madrid team-mate in an exclusive SunSport interview.
    Beckham made history during the 1998 Word Cup when he wore a skirt like garment known as a “sarong”Credit: News Group Newspapers Ltd
    In 1999 the Beckham’s strutted their stuff in some all-leather Versace suits – the same month as The Matrix was releasedCredit: Rex FeaturesIn 2000, the England captain decided to wear a durag to meet the future King of England, Prince CharlesCredit: RexBeckham stunned the footballing world when he debuted his mini mohawk in 2001Credit: RexBeckham was famous for rocking some abysmal outfits and hair-dos during his trophy-laden career.The most outrageous of Beckham’s barnets include the micro-mohawk he sported in 2001, the cornrows of 2003 and 2007’s peroxide blonde dinosaur spikes.As for his clothing mishaps, it would be easy to assume the infamous skirt-like garment, known as a “sarong”, takes the biscuit in the footballing ace’s turbulent fashion life.Although meeting Prince Charles in a durag and sleeveless shirt is not far off and neither is the time he matched with Posh in Matrix-style Versace leather.Read more in sport Without taking a moment to think about it, Carlos answered with Beckham’s name when he was asked which team-mate had the worst clothes.And when asked who had the worst hair, he went with the former England captain again, before tentatively adding: “I’m joking.”But there was a boost for Becks’ ex-England team-mate Paul Ince, who was named the best-dressed player Carlos has ever played with.Ince played with the Brazilian in Italy at Inter Milan.Most read in FootballIconic left-back Carlos wasted no time in dropping a number of bombshells about other former team-mates, as well as Becks.Not least that his fellow Real Madrid star Michel Salgado was the biggest liability on a night out.Play Home Games and guess which sporting icon lived in this dream mansionSpeaking at the opening of the Ballerz football centre in Kent, Carlos revealed the Brazil international and Barcelona legend Rivaldo was the scariest player he had ever lined up with.And magician Ronaldinho had the most fun off the pitch which is hardly surprising giving the icon’s famous late-night bongo sessions, apparently lasting until 2am.The attacking midfielder was also deemed to be the tightest with money. In opposition, the affable Carlos joked that he himself was the most generous player. But he followed up with the self-deprecating admission that he was also the player most often rocking up late for training. And that he owned the worst car of the lot (a Fiat 500).Becks grew out his blond locks just a year later and sported a pony tail in 2002.Credit: GettyThe England captain has since admitted the one hairstyle he regrets in his chequered lid history is 2003’s cornrowsCredit: GettyBy 2007 Beckham was not holding back on the peroxideCredit: RexRoberto Carlos with SunSport’s Will Pugh at the opening of Ballerz football centre in KentThe best car award went to Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo which makes sense given last year his collection of wheels featured a £9 million Bugatti, a 60K Range Rover Velar and 2 Rolls-Royce motors.READ MORE SUN STORIESFinally Carlos revealed fellow Brazil international, striker Ronaldo Nazario, had the biggest heart.Since retiring, the youngest player ever to win the Ballon d’Or at 21 has an impressive philanthropic record, even founding his own charity aimed at helping communities in South America.Legend Roberto Carlos spent 11 seasons with Real Madrid.Credit: GettyRoberto Carlos celebrates his goal alongside Real Madrid teammate Michel Salgado in 2003Credit: AP:Associated PressFormer England star Paul Ince was credited with having an impeccable dress sense by Roberto CarlosCredit: PA:Press AssociationRonaldinho had the most fun of any former team-mates, Robert Carlos saidCredit: AFPRonaldo had the biggest heart of all Roberto Carlos’ former team-matesCredit: Getty – ContributorCristiano Ronaldo was said to have driven the best carCredit: PA:Press Association More

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    Real Madrid star Endrick banned from having VIRTUAL lover on Grand Theft Auto in girlfriend’s relationship contract

    FUTURE Real Madrid star Endrick has been banned from having a virtual girlfriend on Grand Theft Auto by his partner.It comes after it emerged that Endrick is a fan of “role playing” on Grand Theft Auto, where players act as a character on a virtual server.Endrick’s girlfriend Gabriely has banned him from having a girlfriend in Grand Theft AutoCredit: Instagram / endrickWonderkid Endrick will join Real Madrid this summerCredit: GettyEndrick and Gabriely have signed a controversial ‘relationship contract’Credit: INSTAGRAM @gabrielymiirandaThe bizarre ban came after influencer and model Gabriely Miranda, 21, was asked about the terms of the relationship contract she signed with 17-year-old Brazilian striker Endrick, who will join Real Madrid this summer.When asked if Endrick could play GTA RP and have a girlfriend in the game, even a virtual one, she replied: “Never! Never. I would never accept it!”GTA RP is understood to be a modified version of the massively successful Grand Theft Auto Online game which encourages players to role play “real life” and woo girlfriends.Other clauses for real life allow Endrick to go out clubbing with his pals without her.READ MORE ON FOOTBALLBut she said: “It depends on the friends.”Taking selfies with fans is also allowed but Endrick is banned from commenting on photos of other women on Instagram.Football fans on social media warned Endrick he should show Gabriely – who has close to 800,000 Instagram followers of her own – the red card after details of the supposed “contract” emerged.One said: “Endrick can run away while he still has time.”Most read in FootballGabriely is a modelCredit: INSTAGRAM @gabrielymiirandaGabriely hails from BrazilCredit: INSTAGRAM @gabrielymiirandaCASINO SPECIAL – BEST CASINO WELCOME OFFERSWhile another said: “With the money he has, he can do anything.”Another asks: “What kind of relationship has a contract?”Fans ask ‘why did he have to do him like that?’ as Arsenal star Gabriel clatters wonderkid Endrick in Brazil trainingThe contract has been described as a “voluntary emotional relationship”, based on “respect, understanding and affection”.It forbids any type of addiction or a “drastic change in behaviour”.Endrick has previously explained: “Whoever doesn’t comply with this, when the end of the month comes about, they have to give what the other person wants.”Like, I asked for an Apple headset and she gave it to me.”Gabriely has 792k followers on InstagramCredit: INSTAGRAM @gabrielymiiranda More

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    Xavi ‘WON’T stay at Barcelona with club set for double U-turn after manager’s comments angered president Joan Laporta’

    XAVI will leave Barcelona at the end of the season, according to reports.The manager was set to quit the club before making a shock U-turn last month by agreeing to stay.Xavi will leave Barcelona at the end of the seasonCredit: APXavi reportedly met with club president Joao Laporta in April and agreed a new deal, with his contract up in June.But reports in Spain claim a clash with Laporta over recent comments made by Xavi have led to another U-turn, which will see Xavi depart at the end of the season.According to Sport, Laporta took exception to Xavi bemoaning the fact his side would not be able to compete with Real Madrid next season due to their financial restraints.Following victory over Almeira on Thursday, Xavi said: “We will try to compete with Madrid, but I think the fans have to understand that the situation is very tough. First of all on a financial level.READ MORE IN FOOTBALL”We can no longer say: ‘We want this player, and this player’. We do not have the same conditions as the other clubs with a good financial situation.”The Barcelona fans have to understand that.”That doesn’t mean we can’t challenge, but that’s Barça’s situation at the moment. We need time and stability, but we will also try to compete.”Xavi first decided he wanted to quit the Nou Camp in January as he “reached the point of no return”.Most read in FootballBEST FREE BET SIGN UP OFFERS FOR UK BOOKMAKERSHe said following Barcelona’s 5-3 defeat to Villarreal: “I will leave Barcelona in June.”We have reached a point of no return. It’s time for change.Xavi announces he’s stepping down as Barcelona coach at the end of the season”As a Culé, I think that it’s time to leave. I spoke with the board and the club today. I will leave on the 30th of June.”Barcelona will now be on the search for a new manager and could reportedly try and lure Mikel Arteta from Arsenal, with the Gunners boss revealing he would like to return to Spain. More

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    Liverpool ace Luis Diaz ‘is Barcelona’s top summer transfer target’ as winger ‘dreams’ of playing for Spanish giants

    BARCELONA are lining up a move for Liverpool’s Luis Diaz this summer, a report claims.The winger has been key in Jurgen Klopp’s squad since his £50million arrival from Porto in 2022.Barcelona are reportedly lining up a move for Diaz this summerCredit: GettyDiaz, 27, has made 97 appearances for the Reds, scoring 24 goals and adding 13 assists.The 47-cap Colombian international has started in 31 of Liverpool’s 36 Premier League games this season.And according to Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo, Barcelona are keen to sign a winger this summer, with Diaz their top target.Despite the club’s financial struggles, the report suggests that the Catalan giants remain determined to bolster their squad.READ MORE IN FOOTBALLThe club’s pursuit of Diaz is a strategic move to strengthen their left wing.Diaz has emerged as their top choice, but they are also interested in Nico Williams from Athletic Bilbao, RB Leipzig’s Dani Olmo and Porto’s Pepe.Xavi’s side are convinced that Diaz’s style of play is ideal for their tactical set-up and are actively devising strategies to secure his services.For Diaz, a switch to Barcelona would fulfil a lifelong dream, which his father has echoed in the past.Most read in FootballBEST FREE BET SIGN UP OFFERS FOR UK BOOKMAKERSThe report adds Diaz’s chances of moving are boosted by Klopp leaving the club at the end of the season and to be replaced by expected successor Arne Slot.Diaz’s contract runs until 2027, yet an offer from Catalonia could influence his future at the club.Watch Gary Neville’s brilliant reaction to Aston Villa equaliser against Liverpool on live TV as fans beg ‘meme that’Barcelona have been trying to find ways to overcome their economic challenges, including the sale of future television rights revenues to private companies.According to the report, the club’s strategy for bolstering their squad this summer hinges on complying with La Liga’s Financial Fair Play regulations and salary caps, to allow them to spend more.The increase in spending capacity is to be supported by new sponsorship agreements with Nike and the selling of shares in Barca Studios – the club’s in-house production company.Barcelona are also set to sell some of their key stars to cover the cost of transfers this summer. More

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    Chelsea land £5MILLION bonus from Real Madrid due to little-known Hazard transfer clause – despite him RETIRING

    CHELSEA will pocket £5million from Real Madrid due to a little-known clause in the deal to sign Eden Hazard despite the star RETIRING, according to reports. Hazard, 33, signed for the Spanish giants from the Blues in 2019 in a deal worth £130m.Chelsea will receive £5million after Real Madrid made the Champions League finalCredit: ReutersIt comes as part of the deal Madrid made to sign Eden Hazard in 2019Credit: GettyThe terms in the deal remain valid despite Hazard retiring in OctoberCredit: GettyThe deal saw Chelsea receive £88m up front, with various performance related clauses and add-ons included.The Belgian signed a five-year deal worth £20m a season with Los Blancos but struggled with injury throughout his time at the club.After playing just 54 LaLiga games for Madrid, Hazard saw his contract with the club terminated last summer.He then announced his retirement from football in October. READ MORE IN FOOTBALLHowever, the terms of the deal between Chelsea and Madrid have remained valid, according to The Telegraph.And Carlo Ancelotti guiding Madrid to the Champions League final this season has seen another of these bonuses triggered. It means Chelsea, who recently sold their training ground and a hotel in intra-group deals to help them with Premier League Profit and Sustainability rules, will gain a bonus £5m.Despite hanging up his pro boots, Hazard has shown he still has his incredible football ability.Most read in FootballBEST FREE BET SIGN UP OFFERS FOR UK BOOKMAKERSFootage showed him skinning four players in training before impressing in a charity football match in Qatar.Hazard initially came through the ranks with Lille before joining Chelsea. Watch Eden Hazard ‘leave influencer for dead’ as ex-Chelsea star skins four players before scoring in charity matchAt Stamford Bridge he won two Premier League titles, two Europa League’s, the FA Cup and the League Cup while scoring 110 goals and adding 85 assists in 352 appearances. More

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    Forgotten Arsenal flop scores stunning free-kick to earn fallen Champions League giants promotion in Spanish THIRD TIER

    ARSENAL flop Lucas Perez scored a stunning free-kick as he helped home town team Deportivo La Coruna return to the second tier of Spanish football.The former Arsenal striker, gave up around £500,000 from his own pocket in order to rejoin Depor in January last year.Lucas Perez scored a stunning free-kick for DeportivoCredit: incredible goal sealed Depor’s promotionCredit: reaching the Champions League semi-finals 20 years ago, Deportivo have fallen into the wilderness.This season marked the fourth since they slipped out of the Spanish second tier, let alone LaLiga.With the help of Perez, who has captained the team on occasion this term, Depor are now on their way back.They clinched the title by beating Barcelona Atletic, essentially Barca’s B team, 1-0 at a packed Riazor.READ MORE IN FOOTBALLPerez fittingly bagged the winner, netting a stunning 57th minute free-kick.He has scored 12 league goals this season, in addition to 17 assists.Upon sealing promotion, the forward told Relevo: “I came to help. I am very happy to see A Coruna like this, very happy to return to professional football with Deportivo; it is joyous.”When you have the excitement of returning home you always imagine that beautiful things will happen. It’s amazing to see the atmosphere and make people happy.Most read in FootballBEST FREE BET SIGN UP OFFERS FOR UK BOOKMAKERS”To the fans I can only say that thank you very much for everything you have given me and blessed me with.”I hope that we are very happy, that they bring us great satisfaction at Depor and that we can all enjoy them together.”Arsenal’s five season-defining momentsGetting a ticket for Deportivo games this season has been a challenge, such has been the demand.They have a club-record 28,500 season ticket holders, with their ground capacity standing at 32,490.Only Real Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia and Atletico Madrid have won LaLiga since Deportivo triumphed in 2000.Due to financial chaos behind the scenes, however, things eventually spiralled at Riazor.Perez began his career with Atletico Madrid, before moving to Rayo Vallecano in a bid for first team opportunities.He then moved to Ukrainian side Karpaty Lviv before earning a move to Greek team PAOK in 2013.When you have the excitement of returning home you always imagine that beautiful things will happen.Lucas PerezDuring his second year there he moved on loan to Deportivo, for the first of four stints at the club.Perez moved to Riazor permanently in 2015, and a year later earned a £17million move to Arsenal.After failing to establish himself at the Emirates he again returned to Deportivo on loan in 2017, only to sign for West Ham in 2018.Following a low-key season in East London he signed for Alaves, ahead of further moves to Elche and Cadiz.READ MORE SUN STORIESIt was the latter he left 18 months ago in order to drop down two tiers to sign for Deportivo.But it now remains to be seen whether he will stay for a crack at the second tier, as his contract is set to expire.Perez, now 35, signed for Arsenal in the summer of 2016Credit: GettyPerez has had four stints with Deportivo La CorunaCredit: Getty – Contributor More

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    Former Barcelona star accused of sending his twin brother to play in his place as he’s ‘caught out’ for bizarre reason

    FORMER Barcelona starlet Edgar Ie has been accused of sending his twin brother to play for Dinamo Bucharest in his place.Ie, 30, made one first team appearance for Barca under Luis Enrique.Edgar Ie was previously on the books at BarcelonaCredit: GettyIe, 30, joined Dinamo Bucharest in FebruaryCredit: GettyAfter leaving Turkish side Basaksehir in January, the Guinea-Bissau international signed for Romanian side Dinamo Bucharest the following month.Ie has so far played five times for Dinamo.But according to Romanian journalist Emmanuel Rosu, figures within the club believe that Ie has sent his twin brother Edelino to play instead.Having started at Barcelona, Edgar Ie has also played for the likes of Villarreal, Lille, Nantes, Trabzonspor and Feyenoord.READ MORE IN FOOTBALLEdelino, meanwhile, has spent much of his career in the Portuguese lower leagues.While his last known club was Tluchowia Tluchow in Poland.Rosu adds that suspicions have been raised due to a language-barrier with their player.They reportedly believe Edgar Ie to be fluent in English, but have found that they cannot communicate in the language with their player.Most read in FootballBEST FREE BET SIGN UP OFFERS FOR UK BOOKMAKERSThe report also alleges that their player has refused to show them his driving license.Dinamo have collected eight points in the five matches in which he has played.Ilkay Gundogan points blame at two Barcelona team-mates on live TV after nightmare Champions League exit to PSGAccording to Spanish outlet Marca, they could lose those points if it is proved that it is not Edgar Ie that has been playing for them.Although a figure within the Romanian Football Federation has told local outlet iAMsport: “There is no planned scenario for this situation.”If the player who played is not the real one, there could be sanctions. Legally, a DNA test can decide everything.”Of course, Dinamo never intended to use the twin brother instead of the correct one.”I think that, if the DNA result confirms that it is his twin brother, they should consider a defence, considering that they did not know about this.”The possibility will have to be considered, but if Dinamo was deceived and manages to prove it, then the risk of losing points does not exist.”Edgar Ie joined Barcelona in 2012 from Sporting Lisbon, where he had been in the academy with his twin brother Edelino.He went on to play once for Barca’s first team, replacing Jeremy Mathieu and featuring alongside the likes of Andres Iniesta in a 4-0 Copa del Rey win over Huesca in 2014.READ MORE SUN STORIESHis last appearance in a matchday squad for former club Basaksehir came on December 23, when he was an unused substitute for a match against Trabzonspor.He was called up by Guinea Bissau for the Africa Cup of Nations earlier this year and made one appearance in the group stage, playing the full 90 minutes as they lost 1-0 to Nigeria on January 22.Ie battles with Edinson Cavani during his Lille daysCredit: AFP or licensors More