Shikbala is like Messi, says Zamalek football director. If you don’t follow Egyptian Premier League, perhaps the only familiar words in the previous sentence are ‘Messi’ and ‘football’. And then of course, you have Pastore, Bale, Assulin, Park Sheng-Ho or Antonio Valencia, who are all the ‘next Messi’, Balotelli who is only a ‘little’ behind and countless others who might as well be clones judging by media hype. Not to forget that Messi is at an age (23) where he himself could very well be the next Messi, which makes the whole topic ludicrous. So when you read how Ignasi Miquel is the next Pique, and Jeffren is the next Pedro, and Sergi Roberto is the next Busquets, this is a bit like the Champions League game against Rubin Kazan where Pep deployed his Barca B talent force, and the commentary went – “This is the next generation Barca, these are the boys who will replace the Piques and the Busquets and the Pedros and the Messis”. Except the commentator couldn’t have chosen worse examples, for ‘next generation Barca’ is mostly barely a year or two younger than all the mentioned players. At least they aren’t talking about Bojan replacements yet. So when Mourinho says – “In the next year or two, many key players for FC Barcelona will not be able to continue at this level”, we can only say “wishful thinking”. And also “See this, Mou, and eat your heart out!”. Oh, and Happy Holidays!