Murtaza Ahmadi is a 5-year-old Afghan boy who became a worldwide sensation after he was photographed wearing a Lionel Messi jersey made from an old blue striped plastic bag.
After the images of the boy who couldn’t afford a real soccer jersey surfaced online, the news made its way to the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund and Messi who is a goodwill ambassador of the organization. He then signed a real kid’s jersey and sent a care package containing the blue and white striped jersey of Argentina’s national soccer team and Messi’s club jersey Barcelona to Murtaza.
This was a truly heartwarming and great PR move by both the five-time winner of FIFA’s World Player of the Year award and UNICEF. Their actions are in total alignment with the mission of the organization and underscore the idea of every child having the right to play, as outlined in article 31 under UNICEF’s summary of children’s rights.
“Article 31 (Leisure, play and culture): Children have the right to relax and play, and to join in a wide range of cultural, artistic and other recreational activities.”
As for Murtaza Ahmadi, he couldn’t be happier wearing his new #10 blue-striped jersey: “I love Messi and my shirt says Messi loves me,” said the boy.
You can watch Murtaza wearing his favorite jersey in this video by Sky News: