Remember the kid wearing a plastic-bag Leo Messi jersey whose image image went viral on Twitter? He's been found.
It turns out that the little boy, who was initially reported to be from Iraq, is actually from Afghanistan.
Initial reports based on online chatter suggested that the boy was from Iraq. The image that spread like fire on social media sparked a hunt for the little boy. Even Messi's team were reportedly looking for the kid's whereabouts so they can arrange a real Messi jersey for him. He had been wearing a 'jersey' made out of a white plastic bag with blue stripes with 'Messi 10' painted on the back, so as to resemble the Argentine football megastar's national team jersey.
RT to help us find this kid so we can get him the Messi shirt he deserves... pic.twitter.com/hKNvIkPXoX
— BreatheSport (@BreatheSport) January 18, 2016
According to the BBC report, Azim Ahmadi, an Afghan living in Australia, posted photos of his nephew Murtaza wearing the DIY-jersey after the initial image went viral, claiming that Murtaza was the one in the photo. Murtaza's father Arim revealed that the viral photo was taken by the kid's elder brother.
According to a report in CNN, Murtaza is a big Messi fan and wanted a Messi shirt.
"I told him that we were living in a poor village far from the city and it was impossible for me to get him the shirt. He kept crying for days asking for the shirt until his brother Hamayon helped him make one from the plastic bag to make him happy. He stopped crying after wearing that plastic bag shirt," the report quoted Arif Ahmadi as saying.
@messi10stats, a popular fan account of the Barcelona superstar, aslo tweeted out the images, confirming the identity of the boy.
Here's the real kid. His name is Homayoon and he lives in Ghazni province of Afghanistan. pic.twitter.com/WlUzziwFlO
— Leo Messi (@messi10stats) January 26, 2016
The kid's name is Murtaza Ahmadi. He's 5 years old. Homayoon is his elder brother (right) who posted the pic. pic.twitter.com/KeZCJytyld
— Leo Messi (@messi10stats) January 27, 2016
Now that the boy's identity has been ascertained, we hope he gets to meet his idol and also gets a real jersey.