Earlier this year, a young Afghan boy became an internet sensation when a picture of him wearing a plastic bag with ‘Messi 10’ (a replica of Lionel Messi’s famous Argentinian football jersey) surfaced on the internet.
5-year-old Murtaza Ahmadi’s finally gets to meet his idol almost 11 months after his picture surfaced on the internet. The little boy was tracked down to Afghanistan where more information were learned about him.
Murtaza became a fan of Messi by watching him on TV. The young boy had requested a Messi football jersey from his father but his father was unable to get one for him.
However, things began looking up when the young lad found a plastic bag and asked his 15-year-old brother to make a jersey out of it for him.
“We can’t even imagine buying the original Messi jersey. We just can’t afford it so, to make my brother happy, I made a shirt out of that plastic bag for him,” his brother, Homayoun said.
Recently, organizers of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar tweeted a video showing Murtaza who is now six years old being scooped up by Messi and posing for photographs. The meeting was said to have been organized by the UN refugee agency, UNHCR.
Messi and Murtaza met in Doha, Qatar, where the six-year-old walked out on to the pitch with his hero ahead of Barcelona’s game against Al Ahli.
Murtaza’s fame has however not been welcomed by all. His father, Mohammad Arif Ahmadi, said that they had to relocate a couple of times because he feared for his son’s life.
“I sold all my belongings and brought my family out of Afghanistan to save my son’s life as well as the lives of the rest of the family,” he said in May, adding that they had at first moved to Islamabad, Pakistan, but could not keep up with the high cost of living. They finally moved to Quetta.
Watch the video of Messi and Murtaza’s meeting below