After waiting a month to receive his signed Messi jersey, 5-year-old Murtaza Ahmadi is clearly hard to please. The Afghan boy went viral last month after his brother uploaded a picture of him wearing a blue and white plastic bag emblazoned in marker pen with MESSI 10, just on the off chance you hadn’t heard, read, had it forced down your throat, etc.
His personally signed collector’s item is something most kids (and grown adults) would kill for, but young Murtaza was rather direct with his demands: he wants the man himself. “I want to meet him. I like him,” he casually said to reporters while taking a break from dribbling his brand new football. Murtaza wants to head over to Spain to meet Messi, probably to verify that Leo is a human being like the rest of us. And who can blame him?
The head of the Afghan football federation has said passports have been prepared for young Murtuza, his father and uncle to fly out to meet Leo – who has already said he’d be keen to meet up with the young lad. It’s probably more preferable to fly his family out to Catalonia than to drop Messi into the Taliban-ridden Ghazni Province, especially for Leo’s insurers.
Murtuza’s father said that his son is “very happy to receive the autographed jersey, but he wants to meet him face-to-face.” Time will tell if it’ll happen, although Messi is apparently a little worried the 5 year old is taller than him.
Ahmadi’s uncle Yasin has touted a potential opportunity for European clubs searching for the next wonder-kid by saying he hoped Barcelona would set up an affiliate club in the war-torn country, which would provide hope for thousands of potential Leos who are wearing plastic bags instead of replica jerseys.
Good on ‘em, I say.