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Afghan Boy Has 'Dream' Meeting With Soccer Idol Lionel Messi

Afghan boy Murtaza Ahmadi, a young fan of FC Barcelona's Argentinian striker Lionel Messi, controls the ball while wearing an Argentinian national soccer team jersey signed by Messi in Kabul in February.

An Afghan boy who became an online sensation after pictures of him wearing an improvised Lionel Messi jersey went viral finally got to meet his idol on December 13.

Murtaza Ahmadi, 6, from Afghanistan's Ghazni Province, met the superstar Barcelona forward in Doha, and walked out onto the field with him at the start of a match there, in a meeting arranged by the organizing committee of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

"I'm very happy to have met my hero. It is a dream for me," the delighted Murtaza said.

Murtaza became a worldwide online hit earlier this year after he was pictured wearing his hero's shirt, made out of a discarded plastic bag, with the name Messi and the famous number 10 written on it in marker pen.

After the pictures went viral, Murtaza received a real shirt from his hero.

Based on reporting by AP and AFP