Afghan boy receives signed jersey from Messi

Ghazni (Afghanistan), Feb 25 (IANS) A five-year-old Afghan boy who became an online sensation after pictures of him dressed in an improvised Lionel Messi jersey has finally received a shirt signed by his idol.

Murtaza Ahmadi idolises the Argentina international, but his family in rural Ghazni province, to the south-west of the capital Kabul, cannot afford to buy him a real kit.

Ahmadi was sent the Argentina jersey, signed by Messi, after his elder brother Homayoun, 15, made him a plastic shirt with the Barcelona forward’s named scrawled in marker pen, before posting the image on Facebook.

Jorge Messi, Lionel’s father, confirmed last month his son was aware of the photos and “wants to do something” for his young supporter.

“Murtaza has the real thing now! #LeoMessi helped make his dream come true & gave him signed jerseys & a football,” Unicef Afghanistan tweeted on Thursday.

“I love Messi and my shirt says Messi loves me,” Ahmadi was quoted as saying by Sky Sports.

Messi is a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (Unicef) and the agency helped to get the shirt to the boy.

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