Afghan boy receives signed Messi jersey

Afghan boy who used plastic bag to make his own Lionel Messi shirt receives real jersey signed by Barcelona star

Photo by: Reuters (Archive)
Photo by: Reuters (Archive)

Afghan Messi fan Murtaza wears a shirt signed by Barcelona star Messi.

A five-year-old Afghan boy, who gained Internet fame when photographs showing him wearing a plastic bag mimicking a Lionel Messi football shirt went viral, received a jersey from the player on Thursday.

Murtaza Ahmadi, from Ghazni Province in rural eastern Afghanistan, received an Argentina and Barcelona shirt in a package along with a ball from the UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Messi.

Back in January the boy asked his father for a shirt like his hero Messi's but it was outside the means of his family, his father Arif Ahmadi told Reuters.

His family decided to dress him in a blue and white plastic bag to mimic the Argentine colours.

Images of Murtaza wearing the makeshift jersey went viral online.

As a consequence of his newfound fame, Murtaza played on February 2 with the Afghan youth team at Ghazi Stadium - Afghanistan's national stadium in Kabul.

The Afghan Football Federation said on its website it was in contact with representatives of Messi and would arrange for Murtaza to meet the player soon.

In January Messi won the Ballon d'Or award for the world's best player for the fifth time.

TRTWorld, Reuters