26 February, 2016
Earlier in February, a young boy in Afghanistan made international headlines showing his homemade Lionel Messi soccer jersey.
Messi is a soccer player from Argentina who plays for the Barcelona professional team in Spain.
Murtaza Ahmadi, who is five years old, drew Messi's number, 10, on a blue-and-white striped shopping bag.
Argentina's national team jersey has blue-and-white stripes like the shopping bag.
On February 25th, Messi sent the boy a real jersey with his autograph.
It said "with much love," in Spanish.
The United Nations Children's Fund delivered the jersey. Messi also sent a Barcelona team jersey.
Many people say Messi is the best player in the world. That is why even a boy in Afghanistan -- who cannot afford to buy a jersey -- knows of Messi.
People called the boy "little Messi" after pictures of his jersey spread.
The boy's father told CNN getting the jerseys was one of the happiest moments of his son's life.
The soccer federation in Afghanistan says it is still working to find a way for "big" Messi to meet "little Messi."
I'm Dan Friedell.
Dan Friedell adapted this story for Learning English based on reports from VOANews. Kathleen Struck was the editor.
Do you think "little Messi" will ever meet "big Messi"? Write to us in the Comments Section or on 51VOA.COM.
Words in This Story
autograph – n. the signature of a famous person