This Leo Messi Lookalike Is So Convincing He’s Even Fooled Barca Fans

There’s just one snag: Reza Parastesh hails from Tehran in Iran

Lionel Messi celebrates for Barcelona.
Lionel Messi The Barcelona superstar Image Getty

A Lionel Messi lookalike has emerged who has proven so convincing, he regularly finds himself mobbed by fans who believe him to be the Barcelona genius.

Reza Parastesh’s is apparently so eerily similar to Messi in appearance that some fans have already labelled him the Argentine’s “identical twin.”

It would appear that many fans agree, with Reza regularly hounded by fans in his home town of Tehran in Iran, where many are seemingly convinced he’s the real thing.

They aren’t the only ones convinced either, with Twitter awash with fans claiming it could well be Messi’s long-lost sibling. Some even reckon the Iranian Messi should be signed up on the off chance he’s a capable footballer.

Thankfully, Reza has found a way to parlay the constant requests for photos and autographs into a career of sorts, as a Lionel Messi lookalike.

The Lionel Messi lookalike with a fan
The fans love him Image Ruptly/YouTube

Not that his striking similarity to Messi has always been welcome by his family.

Speaking during an interview with Ruptly TV, conducted in Farsi, Reza revealed that his Messi-like status made him persona non grata in the Parastesh family home during the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

“It was the match between Iran and Argentina and Messi scored a goal in the final minutes, prompting Iran’s exit from the World Cup. 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,” Reza revealed.

“He didn’t let me come home. (sic).”

Something of a running joke in the Parastesh family, Reza has been nicknamed Messi by his next-of-kin ever since childhood, according to Mehr News, and admits to shaving his beard in the style of the Barcelona legend.

A tale of two Lionel Messis
Spot the difference Image Ruptly/Getty

He also rejected the idea he may have had surgery to look like the Barca legend.

Parastesh is not the first lookalike to make headlines this season. Earlier in the campaign, loaded brought fans news of a Zlatan Ibrahimovic lookalike who has been cleaning up ever since the forward moved to Manchester United.

Alas, with a long-term injury effectively bringing the forward’s successful spell at Old Trafford to a premature end, that particular doppelganger may be on the lookout for alternative employment.

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Loaded staff writer Jack Beresford has produced content for Lad Bible, Axonn Media and a variety of online sports and news media outlets.