Lionel Messi’s plastic shirt boy now homeless in Afghanistan

first_imgKabul: An Afghan boy who shot to fame for wearing a plastic shirt with soccer legend Lionel Messi’s name and number and eventually meeting his icon in person is now homeless after being displaced by a Taliban offensive.Murtaza Ahmadi became a global sensation overnight in 2016 when a photograph of him wearing the blue and white striped plastic bag jersey, with “Messi 10″ written on the back, went viral.The seven-year-old lived with his family in the Jaghori district of the Ghazni Province, considered safe during most of the 17-year-long Afghan conflict.But the relative calm was broken in early November when the Taliban attacked the area, forcing more than two-thirds of the population to flee.”I miss our house in Jaghori. Here I don’t have a ball. I can’t play football or go outside,” Ahmadi told Efe news on Tuesday in Kabul, where his family has been living for the past two weeks.The boy, in a message for the Barcelona legend, said: “Take me with you. I can’t play football here (in Afghanistan). There’s just daz-dooz (the sound of explosions and gunshots) here.”Ahmadi lives with his parents and four siblings in a small room of a rented house, which they share with a neighbour, on a hillside west of Kabul, after having stayed in the neighbouring Bamyan Province for some time.His eyes welled up when he was asked about the two jerseys and a football, which Messi had signed and gifted to him in Qatar in 2016. IANS Also Read: Lionel Messi receives La Liga top-scorer, MVP awardslast_img