A French TV station had an embarrassing blunder when they used an image of a Lionel Messi doppelganger in a news report about famous sports stars making charitable donations to help in the fight against the coronavirus.
French station M6 broadcast an image of Swiss tennis ace Roger Federer alongside what they thought was a picture of Barcelona star Messi but instead used a photograph of Iranian lookalike Reza Parastesh who bears an uncanny resemblance to the six-time Ballon d'Or winner.
Parastesh came to global attention some years ago for this reason and M6 are the latest group to have mistaken him for his world-famous counterpart.
He has become something of a celebrity in his homeland and at one point in 2017 required police protection due to the commotion he was causing on the streets of Iran as football fans clamoured for a picture with him.
“Now people really see me as the Iranian Messi and want me to mimic everything he does,” he said of his sudden fame at the time.
“When I show up somewhere, people are really shocked.”
This article was most recently revised and updated 3 years ago