The Afghan boy who became popular on social media after wearing a homemade shirt bearing Lionel Messi’s number 10 is currently in Pakistan.
Five-year-old, Murtaza Ahmedi, who comes from the Jaghori District, arrived in Quetta a few days ago, according to BBC Urdu.
Afghan boy finally gets signed Messi shirt
“I really like Messi, I wish I can meet him,” said Murtaza in Persian while speaking to BBC Urdu.
Murtaza’s cousin said he the five-year-old’s family brought him to Quetta because they fear he might get kidnapped after gaining popularity. He added that the Afghan Football Federation promised to help Murtaza meet Messi but they didn’t fulfill it. The young Messi fan’s cousin requested the Pakistan and Afghan governments to help Murtaza’s dream come true.
Messi seeks to meet Afghan boy in plastic jersey
Earlier this year, Murtaza received a signed Argentina shirt and football from Messi. The Barcelona star Lionel Messi had also expressed his desire to arrange a meeting with the Afghan boy.
Jorge Messi, Lionel’s father, told AFP that the footballer was aware of the photos that made waves on social media and “wants to do something” for his young fan. Murtaza became an internet star after a picture of him wearing a makeshift plastic Lionel Messi jersey went viral.
Photos of the boy wearing the improvised Messi jersey — made from grocery bags discarded by their neighbour — has touched a chord with football fans around the world.
Afghan boy dons Messi's Barcelona jersey
Sport was rarely played under Taliban rule, and the football stadium in Kabul was a notorious venue for executions, stonings and mutilations. Football and cricket are the two most popular sports in the war-ravaged country.
Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
For more information, please see our Comments FAQ