Messi’s five-year-old fan from Afghanistan

Five-year-old Murtaza Ahmadi, according to his father, woke up one night and started crying, wanting to meet his football idol Messi.

A photograph of Murtaza Ahmadi dancing in his makeshift 'Messi jersey'.   -  Facebook Image

Five-year-old Murtaza Ahmadi, who lives in one of Afghanistan’s little hamlets, loves football and Lionel Messi. One night, he woke up and started crying to his father Arif that he wanted a Messi jersey. Not having the means to buy one, Murtaza’s elder brother Hamayon modified a blue-striped plastic bag and scrawled Messi’s name and his jersey number (10) so that it resembled Argentina’s jersey.

Murtaza’s tears stopped immediately after wearing the plastic cover.

Then, the following photo went viral over the internet, with many wanting to identify the little boy:





But the Iraq reference turned out to be false. A Twitter user who tweeted that the boy was from Dohuk -- a city in northern Iraq -- later admitted that he'd made it up.





But CNN today confirmed that the boy in the photograph was indeed Murtaza after talking to his father Arif.

“I feel very happy that he is famous now,” Ahmadi was quoted saying to CNN. “He is really excited that his pictures are everywhere now. He wants to become a football player in the future and go to school. And he wants to meet Messi,” he said.

A week ago, a fan account of Messi received a message from the Barcelona star’s team asking about little Murtaza.