An Afghan boy who broke hearts around the world for converting a carrier bag into a Lionel Messi replica shirt has come face-to-face with his hero.

Six-year-old Murtaza Ahmadi was photographed wearing a striped blue plastic bag with the iconic "Messi 10" drawn onto the back. The picture went viral in January and when the Argentinian superstar got wind of it he sent Murtaza an authentic shirt adorned with his signature.

Murtaza has now gone one better and been invited to Doha to meet Messi.

Barcelona were in Qatar to play a friendly against Saudi Arabian Al Ahli on Tuesday (13 December) evening and Murtaza was flown over to bring the ball onto the pitch before kick-off.

He then posed for a photo with Messi and other Barcelona legends including Messi's fellow countryman Luis Suarez, who broke into fits of laughter after the boy evaded the referee's attempts to take him off the field.

Murtaza was forced to flee Afghanistan in May after his family were bombarded with threats to kidnap the boy. His father told Associated Press: 'I sold all my belongings and brought my family out of Afghanistan to save my son's life as well as the lives of the rest of the family'.