Messi meets Afghan boy famed for plastic bag shirt
DOHA – A six-year-old Afghan boy, who shot to Internet fame this year by sporting a Lionel Messi shirt made out of a plastic bag, fulfilled his dreams by meeting the Argentine soccer great.
Murtaza Ahmadi, from Ghazni province in rural eastern Afghanistan, accompanied Messi on to the field in Qatar before a friendly match between Barcelona and Saudi Arabia’s Al-Ahli in Doha.
Murtaza also joined the Barcelona team photograph and placed the ball on the centre circle before running back to Messi’s side, with the referee having to take the grinning boy from the field.
Murtaza’s picture went viral in January when his family, lacking the money to buy the Argentina shirt he wanted, fashioned a shirt for him from a blue and white plastic bag with “Messi 10” scrawled on the back.
A photograph of six-year-old Murtaza Ahmadi wearing the shirt made from a striped blue plastic bag went viral in January and ended with the boy receiving a signed shirt from the Barcelona striker. But now the pair have come face to face in Doha, according to Qatar’s 2022 World Cup organising committee.
Barcelona are in Qatar to play a friendly against Al Ahli on Tuesday and Ahmadi will walk out on to the pitch with Messi. “The image the world wanted to see,” tweeted the Supreme Committee on Tuesday. “The six-year-old boy who dreamed of meeting his hero, #Messi, finally comes true.”
In February, he received Argentina and Barcelona shirts in a package, along with a ball, from five-times world player of the year Messi. -Reuters