Murtaza begged his father Arif to buy him a soccer jersey with Messi’s name on the back. But as an impoverished farmer in rural Afghanistan, Arif could not afford the high cost of an official shirt.
Touchingly, though, the family improvised. Murtaza’s brother found a blue-and-white carrier bag that bore a resemblance to the Argentina team’s uniform. Then, he fashioned a homemade shirt from it. Using a marker pen, he wrote Messi’s name and squad number on the back.
Murtaza’s older brother Hamayon snapped a photo of the boy in his new shirt and uploaded it to Facebook. Soon, the image went viral. However, because the photo only showed Murtaza from behind, a global hunt for the boy in the picture began.