He used to kick a ball around wearing a blue and white plastic bag with ‘Messi 10’ scrawled on the back in marker pen. Now little Murtaza Ahmadi, known around the world as ‘Mini Messi’, has the real thing.
In fact, Murtaza now has two brand new Argentina shirts courtesy of the Barcelona forward.
Lionel Messi sent the signed shirts through UNICEF, where he is an ambassador, to Kabul in Afghanistan. Murtaza then travelled with his family from their home in the eastern Ghazni province to pick them up.
"Murtaza couldn't stop smiling. He kept repeating: I love Messi," UNICEF Afghanistan spokesman Denise Shepherd-Johnson told AFP.
Murtaza's brother Homayoun, 15, made the original plastic bag 'shirt' before posting an image on Facebook.
The picture of Murtaza wearing the makeshift design really struck a chord with millions of football fans worldwide on social media.
And although Murtaza’s hero hasn't yet been able to arrange a meeting with his young admirer, the shirts, the signature and the message “With much love” written in Spanish will warm many a heart – not least Mini Messi’s.