messimurtazaIt was an image that touched the hearts of millions: A 5-year-old Afghan boy wearing an improvised Lionel Messi jersey made from a plastic bag.

Now, nearly a year later, Murtaza Ahmadi has finally met his idol.

Murtaza made a special trip from Afghanistan to Qatar, where Messi was with his Barcelona teammates to play a friendly match against Al Ahli on Tuesday.

In a meeting arranged by the organizing committee of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, Messi held hands with Murtaza at the team hotel before picking up the boy and posing for photographs. Murtaza was wearing a Barcelona jersey.

“I’m very happy to have met my hero. It is a dream for me,” said Murtaza. The little boy then walked on the field with Messi…not wanting to let go. So cute!!

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