Barcelona star Lionel Messi will soon meet the Afghan boy who gained Internet fame after a touching series of photographs showed him playing in a shirt improvised from a plastic bag and bearing the name of his hero.

Five year-old Murtaza, from a poor family in the Jaghori district in the central province of Ghazni, became an unlikely Internet sensation after the pictures went viral on Facebook and other social media sites.


Unable to get a real Messi shirt, Murtaza’s brother had rigged him up a plastic bag in the light blue and white colours of the Argentinian national team, with “Messi” and the number “10” written on it in marker pen.

The pictures were shared around the world and the Afghan Football Federation said on its website on Monday that it was in contact with representatives of Messi and would arrange for Murtaza to meet the player soon.

Last month, Messi won the Ballon d’Or award for the world’s best player for the fifth time.

(Feature image source: YouTube/Reuters. Design: Utkarsh Tyagi)