Alen Halilovic has been the unfortunate recipient of the moniker "The Croatian Messi." Hardly fair for a player who isn't 18 until June.
Halilovic, signed from Dinamo Zagreb, really is a special talent mind you. The Guardian noted:
As almost anyone who has seen him play will testify, Halilovic really has that something special about him and could become one of the best players in the world in the coming years. [...] it was always clear that he would leave Dinamo before making his true mark on the pitch for the club.
Dinamo's director of football Zoran Mamic stoked up the pressure on his young shoulders when he said, per that Guardian report:
I'm fully aware of how pretentious this may sound, but he's a Messi-type player if there ever was one.
High praise indeed but not something that appears to faze the youngster. When playing, it's like he's still in the street with friends, playing for the hell of it without a care in the world. It just so happens he's better than everyone else.
Predominantly left-footed, like Messi he prefers to play wide right and cut inside before unleashing a ferocious shot, often leading to a goal.
And like all of the best players, he seems to glide across the pitch, with a real ease and grace to his play.
Intelligent beyond his years, his rise has seen him become the second-youngest player to play in the Champions League, and he has already fulfilled a dream of full international honours.
Signed to Barca B initially, it's unlikely to be too long before we see him at senior level.