Five-year-old Murtaza Ahmadi idolises Messi but a jersey of his favourite player is beyond the means of his poor family in the volatile province of Ghazni near Kabul.
His elder brother Homayoun, 15, made him the blue-and-white-striped plastic shirt with Messi’s named scrawled in marker pen and posted the photos of Murtaza wearing it on Facebook in mid-January.
Jorge Messi, Lionel’s father, told AFP on Saturday that the footballer was aware of the photos that made waves on social media and "wants to do something" for his young fan.
The Afghanistan Football Federation (AFF) on Monday said Messi was keen to meet Murtaza as soon as possible, though no date or venue has so far been finalised.
"Messi has been in communication with the federation to set up a meeting with the young boy," AFF spokesman Sayed Ali Kazemi told AFP.
"We are working to see whether Messi will come to Afghanistan or the five-year-old will travel to Spain or they will meet in a third country."
The Spanish embassy in Kabul told AFP it would do whatever possible to facilitate a meeting in a European destination. Murtaza’s father, a poor farmer in Ghazni’s Jaghori district, said he could not afford to buy him a replica jersey, and that Murtaza only had a punctured ball to play with.
Photos of Murtaza wearing a plastic striped bag with improvised Messi 10 written on it has touched a chord with football fans around the world.