The little boy from Afghanistan, Murtaza Ahmadi who became a star in 2016 as he was pictured wearing a blue and white striped plastic bag with a name Messi on it is in danger of being caught by the Taliban.
Murtaza later in 2016 had his dream came true as he met his idol during the friendly game in Qatar. He entered the pitch proudly holding the Argentine’s hand as a mascot. Messi would later donate him a signed shirt and a ball.
Now the seven-year-old Murtaza is facing death threats from Taliban as he and his family was forced to leave their house and hide in Kabul where they are currently living in inadequate conditions, without proper shelter and sanitation.
Murtaza’s fame causes concerns for his family; moreover, Taliban forces are notorious for being hatred towards sport.
Murtaza’s mother Shafiqa explains the situation to AFP as she even reveals she had to cover her famous son’s face with a scarf while fleeing the country.
She continues: “(They) said if they capture him, they will cut him into pieces. They were calling and saying, ‘You have become rich, pay the money you have received from Messi or we will take your son’.”
Murtaza’s family had to leave behind Messi’s precious gifts – a signed kit and a ball. No wonder, the little boy is unhappy: “I want them back so I can play. I miss Messi.
“When I meet him, I will say, ‘Salaam’ and ‘How are you?’ Then he will reply saying thank you and be safe, and I will go with him to the pitch where he will play and I will watch him.”