The Afghan boy who famously wore a Lionel Messi shirt made out of a plastic bag didn’t want to leave the Barcelona superstar’s side after accompanying him onto the pitch.
Five-year-old Murtaza Ahmadi was a mascot for Barca’s friendly against Al Ahli in Doha on Tuesday night after meeting Messi earlier in the day.
And when the La Liga giants split on the pitch for the obligatory team photo, Ahmadi ran to join Messi on the end of the line.
Barcelona v Al-Ahli
Making the situation far from awkward, Messi grabbed the little guy’s hand for the picture.
The Argentine was so welcoming, in fact, Murtaza didn’t want to leave the pitch, much to Luis Suarez’s amusement, before he was carried off by a referee.
Murtaza captured hearts around the world when a picture of him in a makeshift Argentina No.10shirt went viral.
The Barcelona superstar sent a signed Argentina shirt to the child earlier this year, but has now gone a step further.
“The image the world wanted to see,” tweeted Qatar’s World Cup organising committee. “The six-year-old boy who dreamed of meeting his hero, #Messi, finally comes true.”
Ahmadi was forced to flee the eastern Ghazni province of Afghanistan in May, travelling to Pakistan.
Messi was denied a sixth Ballon d’Or title on Monday evening when great rival Cristiano Ronaldo was crowned with his fourth title.