Reza Parastesh, a Lionel Messi lookalike who has become known as the “Iranian Messi”, is fully booked with media interviews and has even landed modelling contracts, the BBC reported on May 9.
All the fuss began a few months ago when the 25-year-old student’s dad made him pose in a number 10 Barcelona football shirt. Such was the resemblance to the soccer superstar that Parastesh reportedly started cutting his hair and grooming his beard in the style of the Argentina forward.
Over the past weekend, so many people in the city of Hamadan, northwestern Iraq, were chasing a picture with Parastesh that police took him to the station and impounded his car to quell the chaos.
He told AFP: "Now people really see me as the Iranian Messi and want me to mimic everything he does. When I show up somewhere, people are really shocked. I'm really happy that seeing me makes them happy and this happiness gives me a lot of energy."
Next up, he says, is learning some football tricks so he can play the lookalike role even better.
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