For Murtaza Ahmadi, the Afghan boy who captured hearts worldwide and became an internet sensation with his makeshift plastic-bag Messi ‘jersey’, it was a dream come true. He finally got to wear a real Messi shirt (actually the full soccer attire) sent especially for him by his idol.
Football superstar Lionel Messi sent gifts to his ardent fan through UNICEF, the organization for which Messi also acts as a goodwill ambassador. Murtaza was given two personally autographed shirts and a signed football from the Argentina captain, delivered to him by UNICEF workers in Kabul.
For the occasion, Murtaza and his father made the trip from his native village Jaghori, lying south-west of Kabul, to the capital city.
Last month, Lionel Messi, who plays for Barcelona, reclaimed the world’s best player title, lifting the Ballon d’Or trophy for the fifth time.
UNICEF recently announced a renewal of the program it runs in partnership with Barcelona, in its tenth year now, which makes it possible for children in the world’s most underprivileged countries to take part in sports.