Can You Distinguish Lionel Messi From His Iranian Doppelganger?

"Being the best player in footballing history, he (Messi) definitely has more work than he can handle. I could be his representative when he is too busy,” look-alike Reza Parastesh says.


Lionel Messi, one of the greatest soccer stars with a global fan following, now has a doppelganger — and he isn’t just an ordinary look-alike. The resemblance between the two is unreal.

Reza Parastesh was in western Iranian city of Hamedan, walking around in his Barca Jersey when a group of Messi fanatics noticed him, causing a sudden panic in the streets of Iran, as several people attempted to take pictures with the 24-year-old. 

"Now people really see me as the Iranian Messi and want me to mimic everything he does," Parastesh, who says he is working on some football tricks, told AFP.  "When I show up somewhere, people are really shocked.

"I'm really happy that seeing me makes them happy, and this happiness gives me a lot of energy," he continued. "Being the best player in footballing history, he (Messi) definitely has more work than he can handle. I could be his representative when he is too busy.”

This is the real Messi saving the day:


While this is the latest with his Iranian version:





However, life is never easy when you are a celebrity look-alike, especially if that celebrity is a really big deal.

Following the chaos, the Iranian police arrested Parastesh and also impounded his car.

Here is a list of some other famous doppelgangers and the issues they faced for having a face similar to that of a celebrity.

Ed Sheeran

For Ed Sheeran’s non-biological twin Ty Jones from Sale, Manchester, the resemblance almost cost him his relationships.


Me and @teddysphotos

A post shared by Ty Jones (@ty1991ed) on


“It’s made my relationships worse, I’d say, because now I have to weigh up if they like me for me or are they’re just interested in me because I’m the next best thing to Ed if they really like him,” he said. “When girls ask me for pictures in the streets it’s annoyed some of my girlfriends in the past and caused problems.”

Taylor Swift

Keitra Jane from Salt Lake City, Utah, bears a striking resemblance to Taylor Swift. 


But Jane, who battled an eating disorder and body dysmorphia, often received hate comments from trolls for being Swift’s “fatter version.”

She addressed the issue on social media to promote kindness.



Ellinor Hellborg, who is Adele’s doppelganger, is a makeup artist from Sweden. While she does everything possible to look like the singing diva, some people think she looks nothing like her.


A post shared by Ellinor Hellborg (@ellinorhellborg) on


Hugh Laurie

This Russian plumber who was spotted a little less than a decade ago was clueless why people on the streets stared at him. He looked like Hugh Laurie.


However, for some the fame is enjoyable.

Tom Cruise

Pakistan's real-life “Top Gun” fighter was Squadron Leader Yaser Mudasser who was discovered after being pictured at the Paris Air Show.




Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters, Sergio Perez

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