Lionel Messi Lookalike – An Iranian student is looking to launch a career as a body double to the Barcelona forward, thanks to his uncanny resemblance to the superstar.
During the weekend, Reza Parastesh disrupted proceedings in the city of Hamaden when he decided that it would be a good idea to dress up as the player and wander around the city.
Hundreds of fans flocked the 25-year-old wanting a picture which led to chaos in the city. The police were forced to step in and take him to the police station to preserve public order and clear traffic.
The idea of the stunt was given by the Lionel Messi lookalike’s dad who noticed the resemblance a few months ago and told his son to pose in a number 10 Barcelona shirt.
Parastesh soon started cutting his hair and grooming his beard like the Argentina forward and can now pass as the five-time Ballon d’Or winner to unsuspecting fans. He says he is also working on a few skills with the football to be able to play the role better.
Speaking to AFP, Parastesh said:
“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.”
Parastesh is said to be fully booked with media interviews and appearances and has even landed a few modeling contracts.
The real Lionel Messi has so far not reacted to the story of his Iranian lookalike. He has, however, posted on Instagram a picture of himself and his son, Thiago in a room showing off his incredible shirt collection.
The collection features shirts of the who is who in European football such as Francesco Totti, Thierry Henry and Pavel Nedved. A number of his compatriots’ shirts are also on display, including Manuel Lanzini, Sergio Aguero, Oscar Ustari, Alejandro Dominguez and Pablo Aimar, Messi’s idol.
There was also space for two Real Madrid legends: Iker Casillas and Raul but none for Cristiano Ronaldo.