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13th Dec 2016

Little Murtaza Ahmadi has finally met his hero, Lionel Messi

The youngster was famously pictured wearing a Messi Argentina shirt, made from a plastic bag

Simon Lloyd

Cast your minds back to the early weeks of 2016, and you’ll almost certainly remember the story of little Murtaza Ahmadi.

The then five-year-old was pictured wearing an Argentina shirt which had been fashioned out of a blue and white striped plastic bag – with Lionel Messi’s name and number scrawled on the back in marker pen.

At the time little was known about Murtaza but, as his picture swept across social media, a search began to identify the youngster. Eventually he was traced to Afghanistan – not Iraq, as some originally presumed.

“He (Murtaza) asked me many times to buy a Messi shirt,” his father Arif said at the time. “I couldn’t provide this for him. Later, his brother made him this plastic shirt and posted his photo on Facebook.”

Weeks later, Murtaza was pictured wearing a replica Lionel Messi Barcelona kit and it was reported that plans were being made for the boy to meet his hero.

With Barcelona visiting Qatar this week, Murtaza – who has since turned six – has finally met the Argentine superstar.

The videos below show him meeting Messi at an event in Qatar’s capital, Doha.

On Tuesday, Messi and his teammates will face Saudi Arabian Al-Ahli in the Qatar Airways Cup Match of Champions – which sounds so much better than ‘pointless friendly’. The 18,000 capacity Al Gharaffa Stadium is sold out for the match.

Catch up with the latest episode of Football Friday Live: