Lionel Messi meets ‘plastic shirt’ Afghan boy who became viral sensation

Photos of Murtaza Ahmadi wearing striped blue bag with ‘Messi 10’ on it was widely shared

Barcelona and Argentina star Lionel Messi meets six-year-old Afghan boy, Murtaza Ahmadi, who went viral for recreating Messi's blue and white Argentina shirt with a plastic bag. Video: Road to 2022

 

A six-year-old Afghan boy who became a viral sensation when photographed wearing a shirt made from a striped blue plastic bag with Lionel Messi’s name and number 10 has met the Argentina and Barcelona striker.

Murtaza Ahmadi had previously received autographed shirts from Messi after photos of the boy wearing the home made shirt were widely shared.

Qatar’s 2022 World Cup organising committee said in a tweet on Tuesday the two met in Doha where Barcelona are in Qatar to play a friendly against Al Ahli on Tuesday.

“The image the world wanted to see,” tweeted the organising committee on Tuesday. The six-year-old boy who dreamed of meeting his hero, #Messi, finally comes true.”

It is understood the boy will walk on to the pitch with Messi ahead of the match.

Murtaza and his family fled Afghanistan in May to neighbouring Pakistan and settled in the city of Quetta.

At the time the boy’s father Mohammad Arif Ahmadi said they had to leave as they feared Murtaza would be kidnapped after becoming an internet sensation.

“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,” Mr Ahmadi said.

Earlier this year, the Afghan soccer federation promised to arrange a meeting between Messi, a Unicef goodwill ambassador, and Murtaza.

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