Soccer fans are an especially passionate breed. And that holds true regardless of age, location and circumstance. Last month, the world met 5-year-old Murtaza Ahmadi, an Afghan boy and Lionel Messi superfan who went viral for his homemade Messi jersey. And this week, Ahmadi received a special gift from Messi–the FC Barcelona and Argentina national team forward—himself.
NBC News reports Ahmadi is from a poor family who lives in the Jaghori district of Afghanistan. Unable to get an official Messi jersey of his own, his brother created one for him with a plastic bag and magic markers. Photos quickly went viral.
Afghanistan Football Federation has confirmed that Messi will meet his 5 year old fan Murtaza at Camp Nou ❤️💙.. pic.twitter.com/HTNKlzxw3y
— Leo Messi (@messi10stats) February 1, 2016
Sure enough, Messi, who is also a UNICEF ambassador, caught wind of his mini-me. He sent a soccer ball and signed Argentinian and FC Barcelona shirts to the UNICEF office in Kabul, where Ahmadi and his family traveled to pick them up.
— UNICEF Afghanistan (@UNICEFAfg) February 25, 2016
A meeting between the boy and the soccer star is in the works. But in the meantime, CBS News says Ahmad has this message for Messi:
"I love Messi and my shirt says Messi loves me."