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Messi doppelganger sells motorbike to see idol at Copa America

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A Brazilian lookalike of Lionel Messi still dreams of meeting his Argentine footballing idol after selling his valuables and making the trip to Salvador where the star striker is competing in the Copa America.

Paulo Vitor Veiga Rodrigues, 29, aka the Brazilian double of Lionel Messi, sold his computer and motorbike to fund the trip to Salvador, where Argentina take on Colombia on Saturday. Rodrigues left the state of Tocantins and made the 24 hour journey despite not possessing a match ticket. He was seen interacting with fans and locals on the streets and bars of Salvador on Friday.

Despite the sacrifices and uncertainty, Rodrigues said he was happy to be pursuing his dream.

“If one day I could meet Messi I think I would tell him that he is a great man, that he changed my life, and that Brazil loves him, Brazilians love him, and that he is a fantastic human being,” he said.

Paulo rose to social media fame in Brazil in 2016, when he created an account on Twitter as Messi’s double and drew attention from the media. “On the third day, there were already pictures of me in several newspapers, I got lots of followers. Since then, I’ve made lots of friends and met a lot of people,” he said.

Argentina play Colombia at the Fonte Nova Arena in Salvador on Saturday, at 19.00 local time.

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