The photographs of the kid hailing from southeastern Ghazni province of Afghanistan went viral on social media today with earlier speculations suggesting that the kid is an Iraqi Kurd.
He has been identified as five-year-old Murtaza Ahmadi from a rural area in Jaghori district of Ghazni province.
According to the BBC Trending, Azim Ahmadi, an Afghan living in Australia put an end to the quest to find the kid by putting it in touch with touch with his brother Arif, Murtaza’s father, who answered his Afghan mobile and confirmed his son was indeed the boy that the web has been searching for.
Arif said the original photo of Murtaza wearing the plastic shirt was taken by his oldest son Hamayon who published them on his Facebook page. The family live in the Jaghori District, in the eastern Ghazni province of Afghanistan.
“This little kid really loves Messi and football. It is not possible for us to buy [a jersey] for him. Because I am a simple farmer. So the kids decided to use the plastic,” Arif said, adding that Murtaza knows that he is famous now and “he is extremely happy”.
“He heard from friends who have internet. They called and told us about it. My younger son is also hoping that foreign countries help us meet Messi and if we could be good football players like him in the future,” he said.
Football is largely popular among the Afghans including the kids who are regularly following the European League matches.
A picture of an Afghan youth also emerged from the western Herat province of Afghanistan earlier in 2014, having a very close resemblance to the football Star Lionel Messi.
The picture of the Afghan youth identified as 26-year-old Abdul Karim was uploaded by an Afghan doctor on Facebook social media website which soon went viral. -KP