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'Messi is coming to play with us' - Lookalike spreads joy in Egypt

Islam Battah with some Egyptian children in Zagazig Source: Twitter

They may not be meeting the real thing - but Islam Battah's resemblance to the great Lionel Messi 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 superstar, 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," Battah explained.

"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 star.

Source AAP