Little Afghan Boy With Plastic Jersey Finally Fulfills His Dream and Meets Soccer Hero Lionel Messi
Apple| | By Margo Gothelf
It has been a long time coming for this little Afghan boy, but he finally got the chance to meet his hero, Lionel Messi. Murtaza Ahmadi first gained the attention of many people across social media when a picture of him wearing a blue and white striped plastic bag with Messi’s name and number drawn on it went viral.
The photo captured Messi’s attention and he knew he wanted to meet the little fan as soon as possible. While Ahmadi waited for that day to come, Messi sent him and his brothers a bunch of jerseys and soccer gear through UNICEF. After 11 months of waiting and organizing, Ahmadi was finally able to met Messi in Qatar. The Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee captured the meeting in a series of tweets and videos. Ahmadi said in a statement released by Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy. While the viral fame has given Ahmadi an opportunity of a lifetime, it has caused his family to flee from Afghanistan to Pakistan. According to CNN, the family received many threats asking why Ahmadi was learning about soccer and not about the Quran. “I sold all my belongings and brought my family out of Afghanistan to save my son’s life as well as the lives of the rest of the family,” Mohammad Arif, Ahmadi’ father, told The Guardian. However, all the uproar seems to finally be worth it as Ahmadi has finally gotten the chance to meet his hero. Ahmadi is expected to walk out on the field with Messi during Tuesday night’s exhibition match against Al Ahli of Saudi Arabia. “It was inspirational to meet Murtaza, and see him fulfill his dream. We were all kids once and had dreams, and in Qatar many of us still have them,” a spokesperson for the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy said. “Murtaza’s dream was to meet his hero. We are in a fortunate position here that we were able to bring them together. It’s about a kid and his dream. That’s it. That pretty much sums up the power of football.” The spokesperson continued, “We were struck by his story from the beginning, and are delighted that we made the meeting happen. The story is symbolic of our belief that football can change lives for the better, and inspire youngsters from across our region and beyond.”
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