Lionel Messi meets Afghan boy who became viral star

Doha, Dec 14 :  An Afghan boy who became an online hit after wearing a homemade shirt bearing Lionel Messi’s famous number 10 has met his hero.

A photograph of six-year-old Murtaza Ahmadi wearing the shirt made from a striped blue plastic bag went viral in January and led to the boy receiving a signed shirt from the Barcelona striker.

The two — the hero and his fan — came face-to-face in Doha on Tuesday, according to Qatar’s 2022 World Cup organising committee, reports BBC.

Barcelona were in Qatar to play a friendly match against Al Ahli club of the UAE and Ahmadi walked 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.”

Ahmadi, who comes from the Jaghori District, in the eastern Ghazni province of Afghanistan, was forced to flee the country to Pakistan in May.

Murtaza was finally identified as the boy in the picture after his uncle, Azim Ahmadi, an Afghan living in Australia, put BBC Trending in touch with his brother, Arif – the father of the young devoted Messi fan.