Murtaza Ahmadi captured the hearts and minds of millions when he donned a makeshift Lionel Messi jersey made out of a plastic bag.
RT to help us find this kid so we can get him the Messi shirt he deserves... pic.twitter.com/hKNvIkPXoX — BreatheSport (@BreatheSport) January 18, 2016
You can count Messi himself among those millions because the FC Barcelona and Argentina star recently sent the 5-year-old Afghan boy authentic, autographed Argentina and Barcelona jerseys. The jerseys reportedly say, "With much love, Leo."
As of today, Murtaza Ahmadi can proudly show off the new signed jerseys and a football he received from UNICEF Goodwill... Posted by Unicef Afghanistan on Thursday, February 25, 2016
According to the Daily Mail, Messi also invited Ahmadi to come see him at Barcelona's famed stadium, Camp Nou, in Spain.
Murtaza Ahmadi with UNICEF Afghanistan Representative Akhil Iyer. As of today, Murtaza can proudly show off the new... Posted by Unicef Afghanistan on Thursday, February 25, 2016
After seeing pictures of Ahmadi in the "saddest football shirt in the world," it should come as little surprise he and his family live in relative poverty. The 5-year-old's father is reportedly a farmer in Afghanistan's Jaghori District, a region engulfed in violence caused by the Taliban and other Islamic militants.
Considering the outcry of emotion Ahmadi and his family received after the boy was gifted jerseys by Messi, the day Ahmadi and Messi meet in Barcelona is sure to be one of the defining cultural moments of our time.
Citations: Afghan boy who broke hearts when he used a plastic bag to make his own Lionel Messi shirt gets the real thing signed by the star (and has even created his own goal celebration!) (Daily Mail)