Messi sends autographed jerseys to his little Afghan fan - Sabi Tips


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Messi sends autographed jerseys to his little Afghan fan

Argentine football star Lionel Messi has
sent not one, but two jerseys to the five-
year-old Afghan boy who became an
Internet sensation last month when he
was pictured wearing a plastic bag with
“Messi” scrawled on it in marker pen.
Murtaza Ahmadi travelled with his
family from eastern Ghazni province to
Kabul to receive the gifts sent by Messi
through UNICEF, where he is a goodwill

“Murtaza couldn’t stop smiling. He kept
repeating: I love Messi,” UNICEF
Afghanistan spokesman Denise
Shepherd-Johnson said

Messi autographed the jerseys, writing
“With much love” in Spanish on them,
and added a football to the treasure
trove, UNICEF said.

Purchasing a Messi jersey was beyond
the means of Murtaza’s poor family,
members of the persecuted ethnic
Hazara minority living in volatile
Ghazni, near Kabul.

His elder brother Homayoun, 15,
improvised the blue-and-white-striped
plastic shirt with Messi’s name scrawled
in black marker, and posted the photos
of Murtaza wearing it on Facebook in

The image touched a chord with football
fans around the world, and earned
Murtaza the sobriquet “little Messi” on
social media.

The Afghan Football Federation had said
Messi was in contact with them to
arrange a meeting with Murtaza as soon
as possible, with the Spanish embassy in
Kabul said, it would do whatever
possible to facilitate.

But a source close to Messi’s entourage
said earlier this month they could
neither confirm nor deny the speculation
regarding a possible meeting.
Setting up a meeting in Afghanistan, in
the grip of a fierce Taliban insurgency,
is fraught with security challenges.

Football and cricket are the two most
popular sports in the war-ravaged
country but sports were rarely played
under Taliban rule, and the football
stadium in Kabul was a notorious venue
for executions, stonings and mutilations

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