Afghan Boy Wearing Lionel Messi Football Shirt Meets Hero

Dream comes true for six-year-old Afghan boy, who has charmed the world with his Lionel Messi football shirt as he finally meets his hero

  • The Barcelona star met six-year-old Murtaza Ahmadi during a trip to Doha, Qatar
  • Messi snapped the boy as they posed for photos at a specially arranged meeting
  • Murtaza was pictured in January wearing a plastic bagged ‘shirt’ with Messi’s name on it
  • The young Afghan was forced to flee the country to Pakistan in May this year

This is the moment when an Afghan boy who charmed the world with his Lionel Messi football shirt finally got to meet his hero.

The Barcelona star carried six-year-old Murtaza Ahmadi in his arms during a specially arranged gathering in Doha, Qatar today.

Murtaza was pictured in January carrying a shopping bag with Argentina’s blue and white stripes and five-time Ballon d’Or winner Messi’s name and number 10 written in black marker on the back.

Footage captured the moment an Afghan boy who charmed the world with his Lionel Messi football shirt finally got to meet his hero

Footage captured the moment an Afghan boy who charmed the world with his Lionel Messi football shirt finally got to meet his hero

The Barcelona star carried six-year-old Murtaza Ahmadi in his arms during a specially arranged gathering in Doha, Qatar today

The Barcelona star carried six-year-old Murtaza Ahmadi in his arms during a specially arranged gathering in Doha, Qatar today

Murtaza was pictured in January carrying a shopping bag with Argentina's blue and white stripes and five-time Ballon d'Or winner Messi's name and number 10 written in black marker on the back.

Murtaza was pictured in January carrying a shopping bag with Argentina’s blue and white stripes and five-time Ballon d’Or winner Messi’s name and number 10 written in black marker on the back.

The child eventually received a signed shirt from the prolific striker.

But the youngster’s dream of meeting the star came true today when the couple came face to face.

A beaming Messi can be seen picking up Murtazawho wore a Barcelona jersey.

The Qatar World Cup Organizing Committee tweeted footage from the meeting with the words: “The picture the world wanted to see.” The six-year-old boy who dreamed of meeting his hero, #Messi, is finally coming true.

Barcelona are in Qatar to play a friendly against Al Ahli and some of Messi’s teammates can be seen in the background.

The youngster's dream of meeting the star came true today when the couple came face to face

The youngster’s dream of meeting the star came true today when the couple came face to face

The six-year-old has finally received a signed shirt from the prolific striker

The six-year-old has finally received a signed shirt from the prolific striker

Murtaza is said to come from a poor family living in Ghazni province in eastern Afghanistan, and the original photos of the youngster playing football were taken near his home in the remote district of Joghori.

It is believed he was forced to flee the country to Pakistan in May.

When the original photos were taken, the youngster’s father, Arif Ahmadi, said he and his family only had solar power and his boy had seen Messi on TV.

“He (Murtaza) asked me several times to buy a Messi shirt,” Arif said. “I couldn’t support her. Later, his brother made him this plastic shirt and posted his picture on Facebook.

Messi has met children under special circumstances in the past.

In 2011, he met and played ball with a 10-year-old boy who had both legs amputated due to Laurin-Sandrow Syndrome.

He did the same a year later with a Brazilian boy born without feet.

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