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Lionel Messi sends signed shirts to Afghan boy from viral photo

In this provided by UNICEF, Murtaza Ahmadi,

In this provided by UNICEF, Murtaza Ahmadi, an Afghan Lionel Messi fan, shows a donated and signed shirt by Messi, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2016. Credit: AP / Mahdy Mehraeen

MADRID — UNICEF says Lionel Messi has sent signed shirts to the Afghan boy who was pictured wearing a homemade Argentina shirt with the No. 10 on the back.

UNICEF said Thursday that 5-year-old Murtaza Ahmadi has received signed Barcelona and Argentina shirts from Messi. It said a football was also delivered to the boy at UNICEF’S office in Kabul.

The Afghan Football Federation had been trying to set up a meeting between Messi and the boy, who was pictured wearing an Argentina shirt made from a plastic bag.

The boy was photographed on Thursday wearing Messi’s signed Argentina shirt.

Messi is a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador.

Also Thursday, Barcelona extended its partnership with UNICEF until 2020, increasing its annual donation to 2 million euros ($2.2 million) from 1.5 million euros ($1.6 million).

New York Sports