May 12, 2017 – Photos: Iranian Student Who Looks Like Lionel Messi To Gain Attention Arrested For Disrupting Public Peace
Lionel Messi’s Lookalike Arrested In Iran For Disrupting Public Peace After People Rushed To Take Selfies With Him
25-year-old Reza Parastesh, an Iranian student, looks so much like Lionel Messi that it almost landed him in jail for disrupting public order this week.
So many people came out to take selfies with Parastesh in the western city of Hamadan over the weekend that the police rushed him into a station and impounded his car to stop the chaos and clear traffic.
The furor began a few months ago when Parastesh’s soccer-mad father pressured him into posing in a No. 10 Barcelona jersey and sending the pictures to a sports website.
“I sent them one night and by the morning they had called me and said I should come in quickly for an interview,” he said.
Despite his early reluctance, Parastesh, 25, soon grew into his new role, cutting his hair like Messi’s and often donning the jersey when going out.
It has paid off — he is fully booked with interviews and has even landed modeling contracts.
“Now, people really see me as the Iranian Messi and want me to mimic everything he does,” he said. “When I show up somewhere, people are really shocked.”
Iranians are obsessed with soccer, and Parastesh finds himself constantly besieged by fans looking for a selfie.
“I’m really happy that seeing me makes them happy and this happiness gives me a lot of energy,” he added.