KABUL - A 5-year-old Afghan boy became an internet sensation for wearing a homemade shirt of Lionel Messi constructed out of a plastic bag is to meet his football hero.
The Argentine striker was said to be moved by online photos of five-year-old Murtaza Ahmadi playing in a makeshift blue and white striped jersey with Messi’s name and number 10 written in marker pen.
After the images went viral the Barcelona star’s father, Jorge Messi, said his son wanted “to do something” for the young fan, whose family, from the eastern Afghan province of Ghazni, cannot afford to buy a proper shirt.
Murtaza’s father Mohammad Arif Ahmadi said his son only had a punctured ball to play with in his village in Taliban-infested Ghazni. “We do not have a football playground near our house and the only ball I have is punctured,” Murtuza told AFP. He further said, “I love Messi, he plays really well, and I love the shirt my brother made for me. I want to be like Messi when I grow up.”
His father who works as a farmer, said he hopes that his son turns into a great football player one day.