Messi to meet Afghan fan, 5, photographed in plastic bag jersey
Published Monday, February 1, 2016 7:48AM EST
Last Updated Monday, February 1, 2016 9:05AM EST
After photos emerged of a boy in Afghanistan wearing a plastic-bag soccer jersey, the five-year-old fan may soon have the chance to meet his hero: Argentinian striker Lionel Messi.
Images and video show the child kicking a soccer ball around a dusty clearing and snowy field, and wearing a makeshift blue and white jersey with the name "Messi" and the number "10" written across it in purple ink.
The adorable fan drew attention from around the world, but his identity was initially a mystery.
Then, on Jan. 28, the Afghanistan Football Federation identified the boy as "Murtaza, son of Mohammad Aref."
According to the federation, Murtaza lives in the Jaghori district of Afghanistan's Ghazi province, about 300 kilometres from Kabul.
Now, the federation says it is working to co-ordinate a meeting between Murtaza and Argentinian soccer star Messi.
Messi, who plays forward for FC Barcelona, is a five-time winner of FIFA's prestigious Ballon d'Or award.
The striker has also won seven League and four Champions League titles.
On Jan. 30, the Afghanistan Football Federation said it has contacted the soccer star, and that it will "soon arrange Messi's meeting with Murtaza."