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Mystery solved: Who is Messi’s ‘biggest fan’ wearing a plastic jersey

Twitter has been abuzz searching for the young boy wearing a plastic jersey of Barcelona forward Lionel Messi.

football Updated: Jan 28, 2016 12:58 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Boy with plastic jersey,Lionel Messi,Argentina jersey
After weeks of speculation, social media users found the identity of the young boy sporting a plastic replica of Messi's Argentina jersey.(Picture courtesy: Twitter)

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.

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.

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 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!

First Published: Jan 28, 2016 12:58 IST