Argentine superstar Lionel Messi apparently has an Iranian body double. Reza Parastesh gets mistaken for the FC Barcelona footballer all the time, with people stopping to take selfies with him in the streets of Tehran.
The lookalike sports the same haircut and beard as the Barcelona forward, and his friends like having a Messi-impersonator in their gang.
âI think itâs a nice feeling to have a friend who looks like Messi. I think thatâs a great feeling,â said Amir Mohammad Gharaji. âI mean, sometimes myself, I would look at him and be like âThat’s Messi, manâ â they look so familiar.â
âWhen people see him in the street, they take selfies with him,â he continued. âAnd thatâs great too because heâs getting recognition and he deserves it.â
âMy friends came to me and said âMessi, Messi.â After that, when I saw him from afar I thought it is really Messi,â said Saeed Rousta. âBut once I saw closely â it was Reza Parastesh.â
Sometimes being Messiâs doppelganger has its downside.
Parastesh recalls when Argentina beat Iran in the 2014 World Cup, his father was so upset by Messiâs 91st minute goal that saw Iran kicked out of the knockout stages, he couldnât even look at him.
âMy father is a football fan, so he called me and told me âdon’t come home tonightâ because he thought that I scored that goal,â he said. âHe didnât let me come home.”
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