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Afghan boy wearing Messi jersey made of plastic bag finally gets a real kit from the Barcelona star

Ed Ran
5.76K   //    25 Feb 2016, 17:41 IST
Lionel Messi kid Afghanistan jersey
Murtaza Ahmadi finally gets a real jersey signed by Lionel Messi (Image courtesy of UNICEF)

Remember young Murtaza Ahmadi? The five-year-old boy from rural Afghanistan who shot to worldwide fame on social media after he was pictured wearing a Lionel Messi jersey made out of a plastic bag? He has finally seen his dream fulfilled.

UNICEF has confirmed that Messi’s team sent a package all the way to Jaghori District in Afghanistan which included not one but two Messi jerseys – one of Argentina and one of FC Barcelona. The package also included a football and all the items were signed by Messi himself with the words saying Messi loves him.

As many users on Twitter and Facebook tried to get the little boy’s dream fulfilled, Syed Ali Kazemi of the Afghan football federation had confirmed that Messi and Barcelona had reached out to them.

“The leadership of the Afghan Football Federation (AFF) received emails from Lionel Messi and Barcelona regarding the meeting,” he had said on at the start of the month. “We will do everything in our capacity to train him.”

Kazemi had also said they were trying to set up a meeting between Murtaza and his idol. “The date and the venue is still not confirmed yet, but there are chances of Ahmadi flying to Spain to meet his idol.”

I love Messi and want to meet him one day: Murtaza

Murtaza himself hopes to meet Messi one day. “I love Messi and football,” he said in an interview with al-Jazeera. “I will meet him one day.”

Murtaza’s father is a farmer who could not afford to buy him a jersey of his football idol. 

“This little kid really loves Messi and football,” Arif had said. “It is not possible for us to buy [a jersey] for him. Because I am a simple farmer. So the kids decided to use the plastic.”

His elder brother Homayoun, who is 15, explained why they did:. “We can’t even imagine buying the original Messi jersey. We just can’t afford it,” 

When the little boy was told that Messi was sending him a package, he was delighted.

“He heard from friends who have internet. They called and told us about it. My younger son is also hoping that foreign countries help us meet Messi and if we could be good football players like him in the future.”

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Ed Ran
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