Afghan boy Murtaza Ahmadi can stop wearing homemade Lionel Messi shirts made with plastic bags — because the Argentine great has sent him an original jersey after pictures of Ahmadi went viral a couple of months ago.
Messi’s management team confirmed on February 25 that Murtaza had been sent a signed shirt by the five time world player of the year — right to his home in Jaghori district in the eastern Ghazni province of Afghanistan.
“I love Messi and my shirt says Messi loves me,” Murtaza was quoted as saying in a BBC report.
Murtaza’s picture of him wearing a striped plastic bag (light blue – Argentina colours) with Messi scribbled at the back attracted a lot of interest on social media, and it was first thought that he was as Iraqi Kurd, before he was finally tracked down via his uncle in Australia.
Murtaza’s father, who is a farmer, confirmed that it was his son in the picture and Messi’s team got in touch with him soon after. The Barcelona star is also a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), which helped him reach out.
Some extra shirts were also sent by Messi, the BBC report adds — as Messi continues to spread joy not just on the field, but off it as well.