Cristiano Ronaldo lookalike Shanta Kordbatchje aiming to take on idol at 2022 World Cup

Shanta Rasoulinia Kordbatchje, more known by his social media pseudonym Shanta Ronaldo, is an Iranian-Danish wannabe striker heading on trial to Spanish club AD Union Adarve in the New Year.

The 20-year-old came to public attention after photos emerged of his first meeting with the Portugal legend, which were followed by reports claiming he had borrowed his parents' money to have surgery to change his looks.

But, Shanta, who has amassed over 14,000 Instagram followers, revealed to SunSport that he has denied this, saying his looks are natural.

The Dane said: “I can confirm that these stories are fake, all of them.

"I tried to contact the guys who wrote the story, but they didn’t reply to my messages.

“They think that I may look like him, have the same hair style, but I think going that far is not good, but there is nothing you can do.”

Born in Odense to Iranian parents, Shanta has always had an interest in football from a young age – along with learning languages. He's currently fluent in seven.

His father, Behrouz, was a footballer himself in his heyday, playing in his homeland Iran, only to miss out on playing for the national team due to injuries ending his career prematurely.

While his dad has had an influence on his fledgling football career, Shanta draws inspiration from Ronaldo's determination and mentality to reach new levels and break records on a regular basis.

Yet, when he first made headlines as a Ronaldo super fan, it was reported the likeliness was so uncanny that Shanta must have had surgery to look like the then-Real Madrid forward.

Three years on, the Danish youngster’s 15 minutes of fame has faded into, almost, distant memory – but the idea that his face is god-given, rather than man-made, still leaves people questioning him.

Shanta added: “I just keep saying every time to the people who do not believe me or think that I am not only a guy who follows Ronaldo because of his looks, so I let them think.”

Yet, the Dane's full focus is on his football career that could one day see himself and Ronaldo on opposing sides on a football pitch in the Middle East.

Like many people, a dream has many facets – for Shanta, there is the part that would see him turn up to training every day and then feature in matches on weekends.

Knowing languages like Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and English means the Dane is not short of countries to play in.

But his greatest ambition is to play on the international stage, not for the country of his birth, but Iran.

A place in the 2022 World Cup in Qatar is the ultimate goal, a tournament that could see the two lookalikes come up against each other.

Ronaldo has not ruled out playing in the competition, despite the fact he will be 37-years-old when it comes around – and the thought is not lost on Shanta.

The Danish striker added: “You never know what will happen in four years, but if I played against him it would be something unique.

“It is something to face him, but to have him as an idol and then face him is something very, very special.”

The first meeting between the pair came while Shanta was training at Real Madrid's Valdebebas site – only for photos of the lookalikes to go viral around the world.

On that occasion, the then-Los Blancos star told the Dane to keep fighting for his dreams and believe in himself.

Since, Shanta has struggled to get his big break, failing to break into the first team at local club Odense.

He ended three years there in the summer for a trial at LA Galaxy, playing alongside prodigies from Arsenal's youth academy and Italy.

But, despite netting six goals in two games, he left without a professional contract.

Now Shanta is to try his hand in Spain, beginning with three weeks at Union Adarve at the start of 2019.

The Segunda B side share the division with several notable clubs, including Real Madrid Castilla and Atletico Madrid's B team.

And Shanta is quietly hopeful he can secure a pro deal: “My dream is to play every day in a club where I can live and love and just play the game.

"It is something that I always wanted to do from the beginning, to wake up and go to training every day and go to the games so I hope for the best.”

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