Not just that they both have the same special talent, skin color and extravagant behavior at times, but there is another significant similarity between Shikabala and Mario Balotelli.
First of all, this is not a direct condemnation to Shikabala’s infamous substitution tantrum, nor a typical criticism to the flabbergasting Manchester City star.
It is rather an attempt to answer the famous Balotelli question: Why always me?
Why is the enigmatic Italian always facing the storm and why is Shikabala always involved in controversy with almost everyone around him?
The typical media analysis would usually go for slaying the football star, simply suggesting that ‘this is what a celebrity who sets his own house on fire deserves’!
But I believe both players have been victims of out-of-proportion media hype and indecisive managerial guidance.
Shikabala; the man who is regarded by many as Egypt’s top player, even though he has yet to score a competitive goal for his country at the age of 26!
The best player in Egypt
Now let’s focus on Shikabala; the man who is regarded by many as Egypt’s top player, even though he has yet to score a competitive goal for his country at the age of 26!
By reviewing his history, we can see that Shikabala has been involved in altercations with opposition fans, home fans, opposition players, teammates, referees, managers, cameramen and supporters off the pitch.
This has earned him a fairly notorious reputation and to be honest, there is no defense against that.
However, I believe there are two reasons why Shikabala had turned into the typical Egyptian bad boy.
First, he has always been told he is the irreplaceable talismanic superstar…he is the next big thing…he is the living legend of Zamalek.
I believe both players have been victims of out-of-proportion media hype and indecisive managerial guidance.
Second, he has hardly been punished for an endless stream of serious infringements he had done during his ongoing career.
Shikabala is labeled by many as ‘Zamalek’s Messi’, even though he has never guided the Whites to winning a trophy and never had he proven to be a consistent performer.
He was the 2010-2011season joint-top scorer, yet he only managed three goals in 16 games last term.
An undeniable talent and a handful of wonder goals are appreciated but can never earn him the tag of Egypt’s best player, especially with his abysmal international record.
On the other hand, he also cannot be blamed for getting away with a series of unprofessional acts, including a hundred times where he had skipped training without permission.
That said, I won’t be surprised to see the repeated scenario of: Shikabala says sorry…Shikabala granted reprieve…Shikabala scores and runs towards ‘father Shehata’…end of story.