Afghan Boy Meets Lionel Messi After Crafting A Makeshift Jersey

As a child, did you have a celebrity hero that you looked up to? Maybe an actor from your favorite show, or perhaps a player from your favorite sports team? Now, imagine meeting that hero face-to-face. For one 6-year-old boy in rural Afghanistan, that’s exactly what happened.

IBRAHEEM AL OMARI/REUTERS

Murtaza Ahmadi, a child from a poor farming family living in Afghanistan’s eastern Ghazni province, worships Argentinian soccer star Lionel Messi. And, like most children who have a special admiration for a particular sports player, Murtaza asked his parents for a soccer jersey with his favorite athlete’s number.

But, unfortunately, Murtaza’s request was simply not attainable for his family. “I told him that we were living in a poor village far from the city and it was impossible for me to get him the shirt,” the boy’s father Arif Ahmadi said to CNN. Thankfully, for Murtaza, his older teenage brother knew just what to do.

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Hamayon made his younger brother a homemade Lionel Messi jersey using a blue-striped plastic bag, complete with “Messi” written on the back along with his number, 10. The photo went viral and was so popular that it made it to Messi himself–who, with the help of UNICEF, sent Murtaza his very own Messi jersey.

But, what makes this story even more incredible, is that last week in Doha, Murtaza had the chance to meet his hero in person before the Argentine soccer team’s game. After meeting Messi face-to-face, Murtaza didn’t want to leave his side and even followed the soccer superstar onto the field.

Patient little Murtaza proves that dreams really do come true!

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