The father of a 5-year-old Afghan boy who received autographed shirts from Lionel Messi says they are eager to travel to Spain to meet the soccer great.
Mohammad Arif Ahmadi, the father of the boy who was pictured wearing a homemade Argentina shirt with No. 10 on the back, said Friday they want to thank Messi, a UNICEF goodwill ambassador, in person.
Afghan soccer federation spokesman Ali Kazimi says they have prepared passports for the boy, his father and uncle to travel to Spain. He says they are waiting for a response about a meeting.
The boy, Murtaza Ahmadi, was photographed on Thursday wearing Messi’s signed Argentina shirt at UNICEF’S office in Kabul.
I will be the first to tell you that I do not like most of the stuff on the internet nowadays. Too much photoshop, planned stunts, among other things.
This Afghan boy’s picture hit social media about a month ago and people from around the world were trying to figure out who this adorable kid was, wearing the plastic bag Leo Messi kit. Now we can say we have found out who he is. At first it was reported that he was from Iraq, but turns out that he was in fact from Afghanistan. Not only did the boy receive his very own autographed Leo Messi Argentina kit, but he will (most likely) fly out to Spain and meet the superstar.
Stories like this one show you that the internet, or more notably social media, can be used to connect people to their favourite clubs and players. We are also reminded that plenty of athletes will go the extra mile to make a fans dream come true.
Ogi is a graduate of Humber College’s Sport Management program. He is the founder of Blago Blogger Sports.