Gone are the days when disappearances in the Bermuda Triangle or Area 51 were the most-discussed mysteries. In the recent weeks, Twitter has been abuzz searching for the young boy wearing a plastic jersey of Barcelona forward Lionel Messi after an image of him was circulated widely on social media platforms.
After much speculation, frantic calls for a real jersey to be handed over to “Messi’s biggest fan” and even rumours that the star footballer has been looking for the boy, the search has finally singled out an Afghan child Murtaza Ahmadi, according to the BBC.
Aw the guy just uploaded this too facebook. This is amazing. Looks like the sweetest kid ever honestly pic.twitter.com/7DBKPEMueC— RobinXVI (@illMindOfRobin) January 26, 2016
Murtaza’s uncle Azim -- who lives in Australia -- confirmed to BBC that the five-year-old child in the photo hailed from Jaghori district in Afghanistan, contradicting earlier reports that he was an Iraqi Kurdi.
“This little kid really loves Messi and football. It is not possible for us to buy [a jersey] for him. Because I am a simple farmer. So the kids decided to use the plastic,” Murtaza’s brother Arif told the BBC.
The boy wearing the plastic replica of Messi’s Argentina jersey with distinct blue and white stripes and the number 10 written on it, was earlier traced to Dohuk -- part of Iraq’s conflict-ridden Kurdistan region. But a Swedish student RobinXVI (@illMindOfRobin) conceded making up the claim because he wanted to attract attention to his parents’ home town, the BBC reported.
Someone has claimed that this is the kid. He's from Duhok. As I've said before. I MADE DUHOK UP. Probably not him. pic.twitter.com/BHmddc3tSx— RobinXVI (@illMindOfRobin) January 23, 2016
RobinXVI had first tweeted Murtaza Ahmadi’s image on January 17: “I’ve been looking all over the Internet to find the source of where this picture came from... Found nothing.”
Robin has now floated a fund raiser -- named ‘The kid with the plastic Messi bag’ -- on an online website Indigogo.com to help Ahmadi and his family who need financial assistance, according to him.
Here’s applauding football’s influence across the world and hoping “Messi’s biggest fan” gets to meet his idol soon!