Doha (Online): A football lover Afghan boy who became an internet sensation after his pictures wearing an improvised Lionel Messi football shirt went viral finally got a chance to meet his favorite star player in Qatar.
Murtaza Ahmadi, 6-year-old, from the Ghazni province southwest of Kabul, met the Barcelona forward in Doha, where the Spanish league champions are due to play a friendly match against Saudi Arabian side Al-Ahli later.
“The image the world wanted to see,” tweeted Qatar’s 2022 World Cup organisers, who brought the pair together.
“The six year old boy who dreamed of meeting his hero, #Messi, finally comes true.”
Murtaza expressed how delighted he is after meeting his superstar, “I’m very happy to have met my hero. It is a dream for me.”
Murtaza became a worldwide online hit earlier this year after he was pictured wearing his hero’s shirt, made out of a plastic bag, with the name Messi and the famous number 10 written on it in marker pen.
The shirt was made by his teenage brother Homayoun after his neighbour threw away grocery bags.
He told AFP at the time, “I love Messi, he plays really well, and I love the shirt my brother made for me.”
His family could not afford to buy him a replica kit. Pictures of Murtaza playing football in his improvised kit were first posted on Facebook. After the pictures went viral, Murtaza received a real shirt from his hero.