Messi boy: Murtaza Ahmadi flees Afghanistan threats

A five-year-old Afghan boy whose image went viral after he was photographed wearing a homemade Lionel Messi shirt has fled with his family to Pakistan.

Murtaza Ahmadi’s father said they had received threats of kidnap, including from a gangster demanding money.

After the boy shot to fame in his shirt fashioned from a stripy blue plastic bag, the Argentine star gave him two signed jerseys and a football.

“I love Messi. He’s the king,” Murtaza, who hopes to meet him, told the BBC.

Murtaza’s father says they left their home province of Ghazni because the situation was “very risky” for him.