Sunday, 18 December 2016

Afghan boy who wore Lionel Messi shirt made from plastic bags meets his hero [VIDEO]

Almost a year ago, photos of six-year-old Murtaza Ahmadi went viral, as he proudly wore a Messi shirt made from plastic grocery bags.

Photo by Fanny Schertzer / CC BY 3.0

Finally, young Murtaza Ahmadi has met his hero, Lionel Messi, after his story touched the hearts of people all over the world. It happened this week, when the young boy walked out onto the football pitch with the Barcelona star footballer.

Barça was playing a friendly against Al Ahli in Qatar at the time and Murtaza was flown from his home to meet both his idol, Messi, and the rest of the Barça team. This meeting was arranged by the organizing committee of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

The young boy was thrilled to have his dream come true, saying with a big smile on his face, “I’m very happy to have met my hero. It is a dream for me.” He also wore a real Barcelona jersey to the event. Murtaza accompanied the Barça team on to the pitch just before Tuesday’s match kicked off, firmly holding the five-time Ballon d’Or winner by the hand.

The story first came out in January, after photos of Murtaza playing football in the snow near his home in eastern Ghazni province went viral. He was five years old at the time and was pictured wearing an Argentina team Messi jersey, created by his older brother from shopping bags.

At the time, he was sent his own official shirt, signed by the Barça player, who is a Unicef Goodwill Ambassador. However, fears arose that, due to the international interest in the story, the young boy might be kidnapped and due to his sudden notoriety, his family were forced to flee Afghanistan and settle in neighbouring Pakistan.

Watch Murtaza interacting with Lionel Messi and the Barça and Al Ahli teams in Qatar below.

Source: The Local