This Iranian student looks more like Lionel Messi than Lionel Messi himself

Picture:(ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images)

Lionel Messi is universally acknowledged as one of the world's greatest footballers.

With his incredibly high profile career and his alleged penchant for a bit of offshore tax diddling, he's also one of the sport's most recognisable faces.

Which could be problematic if you look exactly the same as him, like Iranian student Reza Parastesh.

Lionel Messi's young doppel gängerlooks so like the Argentinean forward that he almost ended up in prison for disrupting public order.

He was mobbed in the western city of Hamedan by Messi fans desperate for a selfie.

Even Eurosport UK reportedly used his photo by accident when referring to Messi.

Parastesh has his football-mad father to blame for his newfound fame, when he pressured his son into posing in a number 10 Barcelona jersey.

He sent the pictures to a sports website, who immediately asked him to come in for an interview.

Parastesh is now booked up with interviews and modelling contracts, and has begun to style his hair like Messi and wear the Barca shirt in public.

Parastesh even suggests that he might be of use to Messi himself in future. He's quoted as saying:

Being the best player in footballing history, he definitely has more work than he can handle.

I could be his representative when he is too busy.

The student is also a great lover of football, and is very much settled into his new role.

Now people really see me as the Iranian Messi and want me to mimic everything he does.

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.

HT: The Malay Mail Online

More: Lionel Messi is the best footballer in the world, according to this global poll

More: Starstruck opponent asks Lionel Messi for a selfie... on the pitch

Trending