ESPN says that Barcelona’s “In a Way, Immortal” non-fungible token, which was the first of its kind in the club’s history, sold at Sotheby’s in New York on Friday for $693,000.
The digital art piece NFT shows Cruyff’s goal against Atletico Madrid in 1973, after which he became the coach of that team.
In addition to owning NFT, the auction winner will be called a “digital ambassador” at the Catalan club and have access to other benefits, like training sessions.
The club said in a statement that the digital ambassador for Barcelona will also be able to enjoy a number of “money can’t buy” experiences.
“Barcelona will include a set of utilities in the NFT’s smart contract, such as meet-and-greets, trips to [Barcelona’s academy] La Masia, hospitality rights (for at least five years), the right to play at Spotify Camp Nou, and an official ball handover before a friendly match.”
In the movie “In a Way, Immortal,” Cruyff’s goal is told through molten gold animation made by a 40-person team of computer graphics and visual effects experts in Hollywood.
A 30-piece orchestra plays original music for the 40-second clip, which also has real sounds from Camp Nou stadium and Barcelona fans.
Cruyff, who died in 2016, was a player for Barcelona from 1973 to 1978. He then went back to coach the team from 1988 to 1992, helping them win their first European Cup and four league titles.
Aside from the medals, he is seen as one of the club’s defenders of its playing style and philosophy.
Cruyff’s son Jordi, who also played for Barcelona and now works as a sports advisor for the club, said, “The NFT will always be linked to my father’s legacy.”
“He would have been surprised to learn that one of his most beautiful goals with Barcelona was the inspiration for this one-of-a-kind piece of digital art, which we hope will be cherished, admired, and remembered forever.”
A number of teams and athletes from other sports have started to play NFT.
Lionel Messi, a former player for Barcelona, put out a book of NFTs of photos from his career last year. In February, an NFT of Manchester City striker Erling Haaland sold for more than $600,000, breaking the record for an NFT that had been held by Cristiano Ronaldo.