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Egypt’s Messi Lookalike ‘Becomes Celebrity’

The children were so excited to meet Messi’s doppelganger/Reuters

An Egyptian painter has reportedly found an unlikely fan base in the North African nation – Barcelona football supporters, especially those who love star player Lionel Messi.

This is because 27-year-old Islam Mohammed Ibrahim Battah looks remarkably like the 33-year-old Argentine forward, considered the best footballer in the world.

The real Messi extended his tally as Barca’s record goalscorer to 663 goals in all competitions on SundayImage caption: The real Messi extended his tally as Barca’s record goalscorer to 663 goals in all competitions on Sunday

“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.

Battah doing his regular job in Zagazig/Reuters

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.

Battah in Barca gear looking ready to score/Reuters

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.”

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