NEWS

Madeleine McCann 'Lookalike' Picture From Europa League Final Sends Social Media Into Meltdown

19/05/2014 11:14 | Updated 19 May 2014

This image of a young football supporter bearing a strong resemblance to Madeleine McCann has gone viral, sparking fresh interest in the hunt for the missing English girl.

The image was taken from ITV4's coverage of the Europa League final in Turin between Seville and Benfica on May 14.

The picture of the girl among supporters of Benfica, a Portuguese team based in Lisbon, was shared by hundreds who thought it resembled age-progressed images of Madeleine, who disappeared while on holiday with her family in Portugal's Algarve on May 3, 2007.

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This was tweeted by people believing the girl pictured above was McCann

People even suggested the girl had the same distinctive "flawed" eye feature, a dark mark on the iris.

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Madeleine McCann before she vanished (left) and an age-progressed image of what she might look like today (right)

Some pointed out that the girl in the photo looked too young to be McCann, who would now be 11.

One person suggested it was unlikely someone who had abducted Maddy and held her in secret for seven years would then take her to a crowded, televised football match.

The New Zealand Herald quoted a source close to Madeileine's parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, who said: "What is encouraging is that it shows everyone is still looking for Madeleine. That will give her family great strength."

The Metropolitan Police, who are investigating the girl's disappearance, have been given permission to excavate the site she disappeared from.

There have been numerous reported sightings of McCann since she vanished.

In 2013 a British woman spotted a youngster “bearing a remarkable likeness to Madeleine” at a market in the northern Indian town of Leh.

There have also been reported sightings in Portugal, Belgium and France but none have produced any firm leads.

In February last year a DNA sample from a young girl in New Zealand who had been mistaken for the missing child was sent to Scotland Yard.

It was later confirmed the voluntarily provided sample did not provide a match.

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