14 year old Sao Paulo academy player Junior dos Santos Riviero Lima da Estrada Flagrinho, better known by his nickname Bob, is said to be the subject of interest from both Manchester United and Chelsea after being hailed as ‘the next next next Pele’.
‘We’ve already got Neymar from Santos lined up as ‘the next Pele’,’ says BBC’s South American football correspondent Tim Vickery, ‘and when his career doesn’t live up to the early promise then there’s a 17 year old playing for Flamengo who we’ve pegged as ‘the next next Pele’, but should a serious injury destroy his potential then this kid from Sao Paulo certainly looks like he’s got what it takes to be ‘the next next next Pele’. From the 5 minutes I’ve seen of him anyway.’
With ever-increasing transfer fees big clubs are scouring the globe in order to identify the next generation of talent at a young age, looking to snap them up on the cheap. Chelsea recently sent a delegation to watch 5 young strikers from the Ivory Coast, each hailed as ‘the next Didier Drogba’, only to discover that they were nothing like him and it was just that the person responsible for hyping them up didn’t know any other Ivorian attackers.
There was also a brief flurry of interest in a Liverpool teenager dubbed ‘the next Joey Barton’ before clubs found that he was serving time in a youth offenders institute for assault. And didn’t actually play football.