A powerful image has been circulating online this week. In it, a young boy wears a DIY Messi jersey made from a plastic bag. It’s a heartwarming testament to the impact of the beautiful game and doing a lot with a little – but where did it come from?
Since first appearing online, the photo sparked a wave of articles from major media outlets, who attributed the photo’s location to either Dohuk, Iraq or the Kurdistan region. But the BBC debunked these reports, tracing them back to a Twitter user @illMindOfRobin who posted the picture two days before it was picked up elsewhere, with the captions “Messi in Kurdistan” and “Messi in Duhok, Iraq.” But later, he admitted to BBC Trending that he made the caption up. “I was the first one to share this and said it was Duhok out of bants [for a laugh] because my parents are from there,” he said.
And so, the international search continues.
A Messi fan account has also reported that the Barcelona star and his team are on the lookout to find the boy and get him a proper jersey. Although this has not been publicly confirmed by the Argentine crack, it very well might be true.
Even in the darkest of times we can look with innocent imagination to our favorite futbolistas for hope.