afghan boys


Dreams do come true!

A young Afghan boy who became an internet sensation after being photographed in a homemade replica of Lionel Messi’s famous football strip has finally come face-to-face with his idol. In January this year, pictures emerged of five-year-old Murtaza Ahmadi wearing a blue-and-white striped plastic bag to emulate the colours of the Argentinian team. On the back of the bag was scrawled the legend: “Messi 10”. The pictures went viral and, after Messi’s biggest fan was identified and tracked down to Afghanistan’s eastern Ghazni province, efforts were made to bring Murtaza and the Barcelona star together. Now Ahmad has come face-to-face with the fifth-time Ballon d'Or winner in a heartwarming meeting in Doha, Qatar.

Barcelona were in Qatar to play a friendly against Saudi Arabian Al Ahli on Tuesday evening. Ahmadi, who was given the honour of bringing the match ball out onto the pitch before the match, seized the opportunity to steal another impromptu meeting with his hero. After placing the ball on the centre circle Ahmadi ignores the referee’s attempts to escort him for the pitch before running over to Lionel Messi on the edge of the semi circle.

Luis Suarez broke into fits of laughter as a giggling Lionel Messi tried to point Ahmadi towards the stadium tunnel. Ahmadi’s once in a lifetime experience was finally cut short when the referee picked the six-year-old up and carried him off the pitch. The child and his family now live in  Quetta, Pakistan, after fleeing their home in Taliban controlled Afghanistan. 

“I’m very happy to have met my hero. It is a dream for me,” according to a statement released by the committee overseeing organisation of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. “The image the world wanted to see,” tweeted Qatar’s 2022 World Cup organisers, who brought the pair together. “The six year old boy who dreamed of meeting his hero, Messi, finally comes true.”


Trump, waterfall, Sharapova and more — it happened today: May 16 in pictures

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and U.S President Donald Trump deliver statements to reporters in the Roosevelt Room of the White House; an Afghan boy cools off under a muddy waterfall on the outskirts of Jalalabad; Embattled tennis star Maria Sharapova serves to Mirjana Lucic-Baroni at the Rome Open. These are some of the photos of the day. (Photos: AP/EPA/Getty/Reuters)

Photo credits: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters, Parwiz/Reuters, Max Rossi/Reuters, Patrick Semansky/AP

See more photos of the day and our other slideshows on Yahoo News.


Lionel Messi talks to Afghan boy Murtaza Ahmadi on the pitch before the start of a friendly football match against Saudi Arabia’s Al-Ahli FC on December 13, 2016 in the Qatari capital Doha. Barcelona play Saudi champions Al-Ahli in a friendly in Doha, the Spanish club’s last major obligation of its four year shirt sponsorship deal with Qatar Airways.

My grandma was a refugee.

She left Finland as a child, to avoid the bombings of Soviet Union on the 40’s. She grew up in a family in Sweden, during this time. If she had been in the same situation today, she would probably have been an afghan boy. I told this to my mom. If Sweden hadn’t taken in refugees then, neither i or my mom had been alive.
Today swedes think we take in to many. I wanna take in more. I wouldn’t have been alive if Sweden didn’t take in refugees. I want other people to have the chance I has had.
Because of this, my mom thinks I deserve to go to hell. Her own words.
I worked to try to help refugees to get a life in Sweden. But because of stricter laws, I lost that job. I want refugees to give a future to their grandkids. Just like my grandma dod to me. This I want, without my mom thoughts about me deserving to go to hell.