The father of a 5-year-old Afghan boy who received autographed shirts from Lionel Messi says they are eager to travel to Spain to meet the soccer great.

Mohammad Arif Ahmadi, the father of the boy who was pictured wearing a homemade Argentina shirt with No. 10 on the back, said Friday they want to thank Messi, a UNICEF goodwill ambassador, in person.

Afghan soccer federation spokesman Ali Kazimi says they have prepared passports for the boy, his father and uncle to travel to Spain. He says they are waiting for Madrid and Messi to respond about a meeting.

The boy, Murtaza Ahmadi, was photographed on Thursday wearing Messi's signed Argentina shirt at UNICEF'S office in Kabul.