A 25-year-old Iranian student was detained over the weekend for looking too much like the Barcelona forward Lionel Messi.
Apparently, the student,Reza Parastesh who bears an uncanny resemblance to the Barcelona superstar was taken to a police station because of the commotion he was causing on the street in the western city of Hamedan. Too many people were stopping and requesting to take pictures with Parastesh, who now has become a bit of a star.
Self-dubbed as the “Iranian Messi”, Reza got the idea from his football-mad father who was the first to put him in the Barca No.10 jersey and told him to send some of his snaps to a sports website, a few months ago. Rest they say is history.
“I sent them one night and by the morning they had called me and said I should come in quickly for an interview,” Reza told AFP.
That led to Parastesh styling his hair, both facial and on his head just like the five-time Ballon d'Or winner. And it has paid off, according to BBC, he is fully booked with media interviews and has even landed modeling contracts.
“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,” he said. “I'm really happy that seeing me makes them happy, and this happiness gives me a lot of energy.”
Parastesh loves football, but he has never played professionally. He also said that he is now attempting to learn some football skills to go with his look.