Egyptian Messi lookalike thrills football-loving orphans
ZAGAZIG, Egypt—They may not be meeting the real Lionel Messi, but Islam Battah’s resemblance to the Barcelona footballer is so uncanny, that the children at an orphanage in the Egyptian city of Zagazig swarm around him in delight anyway.
Seeing the excitement his presence causes at such events, the 27-year-old Egyptian painter is happy to pose as the Argentine, wearing a Barcelona shirt and joining in a game of football.
“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 said.
“The kids’ happiness with the resemblance between me and Messi is indescribable. When you make someone happy, God rewards you. I wanted to share this happiness with them,” he added.
One of the children to play football with Battah was Ammar Ashry.
“I was so happy and felt that Messi is coming to play with us,” he said.
“Now, I really want to see Mohamed Salah,” he added, referring to Liverpool’s Egyptian forward.
Get the hottest sports news straight into your inbox
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.