Do dreams really come true?
This recurrent question found it’s fulfilling answer, when a six-year old Afghan boy saw his dream to meet his idol Lionel Messi, finally come true recently.
Murtaza Ahmadi's ultimate dream to meet his hero, face-to-face, has indeed come true. And he wasn’t ready to let go!
The organisers of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar tweeted a video on Tuesday, that shows young Murtaza, who hails from Afghanistan, with his hero Messi posing for photographs. The tweet mentioned that the meeting was arranged through the UN refugee agency, UNHCR.
The Supreme Committee tweeted,
After the pair met at Doha, Murtaza was given the honor of bringing the match ball out onto the pitch just before the match between Barcelona and Al Ahli began. He seized this opportunity to meet Messi again, and after placing the ball he was seen running over to his icon, while the referee tried to escort him out.
The video below shows the overwhelming joy of the kid in the arms of his idol. Although overwhelmed with giggles Luis Suarez and Messi tried to point Ahmadi toward the stadium tunnel, he wasn’t yet ready to let go.
Ahmadi first became an overnight social media sensation in January this year after being photographed in a replica of Messi’s Argentina jersey, made out of a plastic bag.
“I love Messi, he plays well, the shirt was made by my brother and I liked it very much,” said Ahmadi after being tracked down by AFP.
“We do not have a football playground near our house, and the only ball I have is punctured. I want to be like Messi, when I grow up” he added.
The viral photographs of him in the “Messi 10” plastic shirt were taken near his home in Ghazni, and soon in February a real signed Argentina jersey with a message from Messi himself, arrived at his door. It was delivered especially for him by the UN children’s agency, UNICEF.
"I love Messi and my shirt says Messi loves me," Murtaza said as reported by UNICEF.
However, this unexpected popularity then wasn’t entirely welcomed by all. The family, originally from the Jaghori district in the eastern parts of Ghazni province, was forced to flee the country to Quetta, Pakistan, following a series of telephone threats.
“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, Murtaza’s father had told The Guardian.