An Afghan boy pictured wearing a plastic bag with his favorite soccer star's name and number scrawled across the back has now received a real jersey from the player.
Lionel Messi sent a signed jersey to the little boy, Murtaza Ahmadi - and photos captured the boy's joy.
It comes a month after Murtaza was photographed wearing a blue and white plastic bag with the name “Messi 10” scrawled on the back. It resembled the FC Barcelona star’s Argentina jersey.
The image quickly went viral. Ahmadi was initially believed to be in Iraq but UNICEF tracked him down in Afghanistan.
Messi, a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, then sent a real Argentina jersey and signed it for him.
When UNICEF presented the shirt to the boy, he said: “I love Messi and my shirt says Messi loves me.”
UNICEF even photographed the boy doing the award-winning soccer player’s signature moves.
The boy’s father, Arif, told CNN that Murtaza’s brother made him the plastic bag jersey when he wouldn’t stop crying.
“I told him that we were living in a poor village far from the city and it was impossible for me to get him the shirt,” Arif said. “He kept crying for days, asking for the shirt, until his brother Hamayon helped him make one the plastic bag to make him happy. He stopped crying after wearing that plastic bag shirt.”
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