Mahmud Shikabala

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Mahmoud Fadlalla Shikabala, is an Egyptian soccer player, born March 5, 1986 in Aswan, Egypt. He recently wore the colors of PAOK, the major Greek football club of Thessaloniki. Shikabala plays a free role usually in the upper midfield and bears the shirt number 10, an element indicating his increased potential in elaborate and creative playing. His height is 1.81 metres and his weight is 73 kilograms.

Shikabala's PAOK years, 2005 - now

Although young and inexperienced, the Egyptian midfielder's rare talent was immediately recognised by the scouters of PAOK [1] and the team managers did everything in their disposal to bring the Egyptian "mage" Shikabala (see nicknames section below) to the city of northern Greece from his former soccer club, Al-Zamalek, based in Cairo, Egypt. Shikabala earned immediately the appreciation and love of the billions of PAOK's fans around the whole universe with his extraordinary feats in the soccer field.

His magnificent performance in the Greek Alpha Ethniki (A Division) league match of 16 October 2005 against PAOK's rival club, Olympiakos Piraeus, led to the first defeat of Olympiakos in their home stadium (with a score of 1-2) in a match against PAOK in over 30 years, spreading shocks of joy within the ranks of PAOK's fans. Shikabala entered as a substitution in the second half of the match and after exhibiting his astonishing dribbling skills he created two "surgerically" precise assist passes to Pantelis Konstantinidis who had no difficulty "depositing" the ball twice in Olympiakos' goal.

Origins of Shikabala's name and Greek nicknames

Shikabala's most distinct characteristic is the ease and fluidity of his play, his accurate passing and especially the magically intriguing way in which he controls the ball inside the field. This talent of his earned him the nickname "Ο Μάγος της Μπάλας, O Σικαμπάλας" (="Shikabala, the Ball Wizard") or simply "Ο Μάγος" ("The Magician") among his Greek fans. It also leaded to a quasi-greek translation of his name as chic+ball, "He-who-plays-chic-football", from the French "chic" (=elegant, prestigious) and the Greek "μπάλα" (=ball) pronounced "bala".

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