Lionel Messi’s life is good these days, as is that of one man who looks like the soccer superstar.
Reza Parastesh loves soccer, and he’s also Messi’s doppelganger. The Iranian man’s beard and hair are similar to Messi’s, and he often attracts autograph- and picture-seeking crowds when he goes out in Tehran wearing a Barcelona or Argentina national team jersey.
Parastesh recently spoke to German media outlet Ruptly about his experiences looking like Messi.
“The first time that I seriously decided to take a photo with sports clothes and introduce myself as the double of Messi, my father encouraged me, He said ‘do it,'” Parastesh said.
“It was the (FIFA 2014 World Cup) match between Iran and Argentina, and Messi scored a goal in the final minutes, prompting Iran’s exit. My father is a football fan, so he called me and told me ‘don’t come home tonight’ because he thought that I scored that goal. He didn’t let me come home.”
Parastesh has rebounded from his near exile from home to being a sensation on the streets of his hometown.
Lesson learned: If someone one can’t actually play like Messi, he might as well look like him.