On Thursday, Lionel Messi made an Afghan child's day when, with the help of UNICEF, he sent an autographed shirt to him.
Murtaza has the real thing now! #LeoMessi helped make his dream come true & gave him signed jerseys & a football. pic.twitter.com/ls6nUOdaBL— UNICEF Afghanistan (@UNICEFAfg) February 25, 2016
What makes this significant is the backstory behind this gesture. About a month ago, a photo of 5-year-old Murtaza Ahmadi in a Messi shirt made from a plastic bag went viral.
FOTO | Irak'ta küçük bir çocuğun poşetten yaptığı Lionel Messi forması... pic.twitter.com/ZD5b5DUOq2— Fanatik (@fanatikcomtr) January 15, 2016
He was initially thought to be from Iraq, but the photo was shared wide enough for his family to correct those who wanted to send him a real shirt. UNICEF, with whom Messi is a goodwill ambassador, eventually heard about his story and worked on making that happen. On Thursday, UNICEF Afghanistan's Facebook page and the BBC shared some images of Ahmadi happily enjoying his new Messi shirt.
As of today, Murtaza Ahmadi can proudly show off the new signed jerseys and a football he received from UNICEF Goodwill...Posted by Unicef Afghanistan on Thursday, February 25, 2016
"I love Messi and my shirt says Messi loves me," said Ahmadi, according to UNICEF Afghanistan's Facebook post. To make this even sweeter, the Afghanistan Football Federation is currently working on getting Messi and Ahmadi to meet each other in the near future.