Charly Rexach, the man who helped Barcelona discover Lionel Messi, has said he made the star footballer sign the contract on a paper napkin when he was just 12 years old because he knew he was too talented to let slip. Rexach was a Barcelona executive in 2000 when he met Messi. Rexach himself played for Barca between 1966-81.

“His father felt that things were not all too clear and told me they would leave,” he was quoted as saying by ESPN.

“It was then I decided [to sign him] on the fly. Once in Barcelona I decided to sign him on a paper napkin that a waiter gave me because I couldn’t let him get away,” he added.

Messi was recently presented with the European Golden Shoe for the sixth time. He was the recipient of the award as he scored the most league goals across Europe’s top division, by scoring 36 goals in 34 league appearances between 2018 and 2019.

Messi was recently-presented with the Golden Shoe at a ceremony in Barcelona, where his sons Thiago and Mateo handed him the latest trophy.

Last month, Messi won the best FIFA player of the year award for a record sixth time by beating Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk and Cristiano Ronaldo. The Argentine player had last won the award in 2015.

Recently, a Barcelona fan created a Twitter thread to spotlight some of the impressive feats that Messi has achieved in separate seasons and across his illustrious career.

The Argentine superstar, 32, is widely regarded as one of the finest footballers in history alongside fierce rival Cristiano Ronaldo.