An Egyptian painter found himself becoming a celebrity after pictures of him started floating around the web showing his striking resemblance to football star Lionel Messi.
The Egyptian painter gained a huge fan base in the North African nation after Barcelona supporters that love Messi started to compare him to their beloved star.
The Messi look-alike story was shared by the BBC and reveals the mysterious Egyptian painter to be a 27-year-old Islam Mohammed Ibrahim Battah who looks like the 33-year-old Argentine forward, considered the best footballer in the world.
“When I started growing my beard, my friends told me that I look like Messi. When I grew my beard even more, the resemblance was clearer,” he told the Reuters news agency.
On a visit to an orphanage in Zagazig, a city about 90km (55 miles) north of the capital, Cairo, the children were delighted, the agency reports. Wearing a Barcelona shirt, Battah played football with the children at a local training facility, Reuters says.
“The kids’ happiness with the resemblance between me and Messi is indescribable,” he is quoted as saying.
“When you make someone happy, God rewards you. I wanted to share this happiness with them.”
Egyptian painter gains celebrity status due to his resemblance with Lionel Messi
The celebrity status could work in Battah’s favour and given the fact that he is a painter, he may find himself getting more painting gigs as a result of it.
It is also great to know that the painter has put his fame to good use by visiting orphanages, which only brings joy to those children who are without parents.
Hopefully, Battah gets a chance one day to meet the real Barcelona star Messi and probably shake hands. If that were to happen, his celebrity status could blow out of the roof.
Egypt isn’t the only country reported to have a Messi look alike. There is one from Iran though the story behind him got a bit dark as reports started to float around about him seducing over 23 women using his looks to his advantage.
However, the reports about Reza Parastesh, the Messi lookalike were denounced by the authorities. He gained celebrity status over two years ago when his father asked him to pose in Messi’s Barcelona shirt, with the photo quickly going viral before Parastesh earned the nickname ‘fake Messi’.
Author: Allan Bangirana
Allan Bangirana is a freelance writer for Newslibre & Spur Magazine. He is passionate about tech, games and occasionally writes about entertainment, lifestyle and so much more.