Having the rugged good looks of an international soccer superstar would definitely have some perks. But when you look like the spitting image of Lionel Messi, you may just need a police escort to get you around town.

In Iran, student Reza Parastesh has been hounded by autograph-seekers after cutting his hair and beard like Messi and walking around town in a Barcelona jersey, according to AFP.

A few months ago, Parastesh’s father reportedly encouraged him to send photos of himself impersonating Messi to a sports website, which invited him for an interview. He embraced the role and began styling himself after the Argentina and Barcelona. Now everywhere Parastesh  goes, fans want to grab a selfie with him on their phones. Demand got so intense recently that Parastesh had to be taken off the streets in and brought to the police station until the streets could be cleared.

Via AFP:

“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.”

The demand continues to be high for this lookalike. Parastesh has a full media schedule booked, and he is even taking on modeling opportunities.

Can’t get the real Messi for an event? Get the next best thing and hire Parastesh! Let’s just hope Paratresh isn’t mimicking Messi’s tax strategies too.

About Kevin McGuire

Contributor to Athlon Sports and The Comeback. Previously contributed to NBCSports.com. Host of the Locked On Nittany Lions Podcast. FWAA member and Philadelphia-area resident.