Has the mystery of the boy in the plastic bag Messi jersey been solved?

A Kurdish television station thought that they had found the boy, but other reports have contradicted their video.

An image of a young boy wearing a Lionel Messi jersey that he had improvised himself using a shopping bag went viral recently, as people did their best to try and track him down to give him a real shirt

The search gathered momentum, with Messi himself even getting involved at one stage, and it seemed that there has been some success as a TV station in Kurdistan believed that they had located him. 

The boy they interviewed was named Homin, and he lives in Dohuk, a part of Kurdistan near the border between Iraq and Turkey.

Homin told reporters with the TV station Kurdistan 24 that Messi is his idol, and that the picture of him in the plastic bag had been taken over two years ago. 

While a number of reports had circulated on Twitter that this was the boy in the original picture, other images of the child, who looks quite different to the one interviewed by the television station, have also surfaced. 

According to the BBC, the real boy is actually Murtaza Ahmadi from a rural area in the eastern Ghazni province of Afghanistan. They state that "Azim Ahmadi, an Afghan living in Australia has posted pictures of his nephew Murtaza who he says is the boy in the original photo". 

They were eventually able to get in touch with the boy's father, Arif, who stated that his son was the boy who the internet had been searching for. 

He told the BBC that Murtaza loves football and Messi, but since they cannot afford a real jersey, they improvised one using a plastic bag.

Arif added that Mustaza has become aware of his internet fame, and is delighted that people are interested in his story: "he heard from friends who have internet. They called and told us about it. My younger son is also hoping that foreign countries help us meet Messi and if we could be good football players like him in the future". 

Via BBC