Afghan boy who donned Messi jersey arrives in Pakistan

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Five-year-old Afghan boy, Murtaza Ahmedi, who became popular on social media after wearing a homemade shirt bearing Lionel Messi’s number 10, is currently in Pakistan.

According to BBC, the boy comes from Jaghori District arrived in Quetta a few days ago.

“I really like Messi, I wish I can meet him,” said Murtaza in Persian.

Murtaza’s cousin said the five-year-old’s family brought him to Quetta because they fear he might get kidnapped after gaining popularity. He added that the Afghan Football Federation promised to help Murtaza meet Messi but they didn’t fulfill it.

The young Messi fan’s cousin requested the Pakistan and Afghan governments to help Murtaza’s dream come true.

Earlier this year, Murtaza received a signed Argentina shirt and football from Messi. The Barcelona star Lionel Messi had also expressed his desire to arrange a meeting with the Afghan boy.

Jorge Messi, Lionel’s father, said that the footballer was aware of the photos that made waves on social media and “wants to do something” for his young fan. Murtaza became an internet star after a picture of him wearing a makeshift plastic Lionel Messi jersey went viral.

Photos of the boy wearing the improvised Messi jersey — made from grocery bags discarded by their neighbour — has touched a chord with football fans around the world.

Sport was rarely played under Taliban rule, and the football stadium in Kabul was a notorious venue for executions, stonings and mutilations. Football and cricket are the two most popular sports in the war-ravaged country.