The little boy from rural Afghanistan who became an internet sensation after he was photographed in a Lionel Messi soccer jersey made from a plastic bag has finally met his hero.
On Tuesday, Qatar’s 2022 World Cup organizing committee tweeted photos and video of 6-year-old Murtaza Ahmadi meeting the Argentine superstar before a game in Doha.
After the initial meeting, Murtaza followed Messi onto the field, where the forward for FC Barcelona was getting set to play a friendly game against Al-Ahli Dubai.
The tiny fan had a really hard time leaving his hero’s side:
Murtaza became an online hit in early 2016 not long after his father declined to buy him his own blue-and-white striped jersey, just like the one that Messi wears on Argentina’s national team.
But his teenage brother Hamayon stepped up. He helped Murtaza create a homemade version using a blue-striped plastic bag. On it, they wrote “Messi” and his number, 10.