A photo of a young fan of Lionel Messi from rural Afghanistan has gone viral. The picture, which shows a five-year-old boy wearing a homemade plastic T-shirt of his favorite football player, has prompted Messi to meet the young boy.
The young boy is Murtaza Ahmadi and he is huge fan of the Barcelona player. He lives in the Afghan town of Jaghori, south-west of Kabul, ABC Net News reports. Since it was beyond his means to buy a real jersey, his brother helped him write Messi’s name and number on a blue and white plastic bag. The blue-white makeshift plastic bag jersey looks strikingly similar to the football star’s Argentinian jersey.
The original photo of Murtaza wearing that jersey was taken by his eldest brother Hamayon, who published it on his Facebook page. The photograph was spotted by Azim Ahmadi—an Afghan living in Australia, who put his brother Arif Ahmadi and the father of Murtaza in touch with BBC Trending.
“This little kid really loves Messi and football. 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,” he told BBC.
The Ahmadi family lives in Jaghori district in eastern Ghazni province of Afghanistan. The little boy is aware of the fact that he is famous now and is “extremely happy” to hear about his picture from his friends who have Internet.
“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,” Asif said.
According to ABC News, Messi has been in touch with the Afghanistan Football Federation (AFF) to set up a meeting with his young fan. The management of the [AFF] has received emails from Lionel Messi and FC Barcelona regarding the meeting,” spokesman Syed Ali Kazemi told news agency EFE, writes the website.