Life as a Lionel Messi look-alike can be grand. Reza Parastesh of Tehran is often mobbed by photo seekers and fans, Ruptly reports in the segment above.
But there is a downside, too. AFP noted that the Iranian student was almost jailed last week because his presence created a mob scene in Hamedan. Police escorted him to a station and impounded his car to get traffic flowing again.
It was Parastesh’s dad who, months ago, encouraged his son to dress in the soccer great’s FC Barcelona and Argentina national team jerseys and copy his hairstyle and beard to emphasize their resemblance in public. Now Parastesh regularly books media interviews and does modeling gigs as well, AFP reported.
“Now people really see me as the Iranian Messi and want me to mimic everything he does,” he told AFP. “When I show up somewhere, people are really shocked.”
His Messi-ness had previously caused some comical tension at home. When Messi scored the winning goal for Argentina in a 2014 World Cup match against Iran, his dad had a special request.
“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,” Parastesh told Ruptly. “He didn’t let me come home.”