So many people came out to take selfies with Reza Parastesh in the western city of Hamedan over the weekend that police rushed him into a station and impounded his car to stop the chaos and clear traffic.
The resemblance is so uncanny that some leading news outlets have reportedly used his photo when talking about the real Messi.
The Messi lookalike loves football, but has never played professionally, so to up his game he is working on some tricks to make his act more believable.
The relationship has not always been a smooth one between the student and the global superstar.
During the last game between Iran and Argentina at the World Cup in 2014, Messi’s 91st-minute goal robbed the Islamic republic of a place in the last 16.
Reza’s dad was furious.
‘After the game, my dad called me and said, “Don’t come back home tonight – why did you score a goal against Iran?”, the lookalike said.
‘I said: “But that wasn’t me!”,’ he said jokingly.
His goal now is to meet his hero in Barcelona, and maybe even land a job as his understudy.
‘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,’ Reza said.