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‘Barcelona is Messi’ says football legend’s Egyptian lookalike

Published: Updated:

Among the thousands of broken-hearted fans that are shocked at football legend Lionel Messi’s leaving of FC Barcelona is his Egyptian lookalike, Islam Battah.

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A 27-year-old painter from the humble town of Zagazig in Egypt’s Sharqiya governorate, Battah says that Barcelona will experience a great loss as the football player and international star changes course.

“I would have hoped that Messi would have stayed in Barcelona (club),” said Battah, standing on his local football pitch with friends he often meets with for a game or two.

“Barcelona is Messi,” added Battah.

Islam Mohammed Ibrahim Battah, an Egyptian with a resemblance to Barcelona's forward Lionel Messi, attends a training in a club at Sharqia Governorate, north of Cairo, Egypt August 8, 2021. (Reuters)
Islam Mohammed Ibrahim Battah, an Egyptian with a resemblance to Barcelona's forward Lionel Messi, attends a training in a club at Sharqia Governorate, north of Cairo, Egypt August 8, 2021. (Reuters)

Lionel Messi wept on Sunday (August 8) as he bade farewell to his boyhood team FC Barcelona and confirmed he was talking with French club Paris St Germain over a possible move.

The 34-year-old Argentine’s emotional news conference followed Barca’s announcement last week that it could no longer afford him after a glittering two decades.

French newspaper L’Equipe reported on Sunday (August 8) that he will travel to Paris either Sunday or Monday to undertake a medical and finalize a deal with the Qatar Sports Investment-owned club.

Despite his disappointment, Battah says that if he were the real Messi, he would join a club that appreciates him and his skills, including St Germain, the Argentinian player’s possible new home.

Spanish newspaper Marca reported PSG formally sent their offer to Messi on Sunday morning, just as the Argentine held the news conference.

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