Kevin-Prince Boateng

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Kevin-Prince Boateng
Prince Boateng.jpg
Boateng in 2011
Personal information
Full name Kevin-Prince Boateng[1]
Date of birth (1987-03-06) 6 March 1987 (age 27)[2]
Place of birth Wedding, West Berlin, West Germany
Height 1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)[3][4]
Playing position Midfielder[5][6][7]
Club information
Current team
Schalke 04
Number 9
Youth career
1994 Reinickendorfer Füchse
1994–2005 Hertha BSC
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2004–2007 Hertha BSC II 29 (5)
2005–2007 Hertha BSC 42 (4)
2007–2009 Tottenham Hotspur 14 (0)
2009 Borussia Dortmund (loan) 10 (0)
2009–2010 Portsmouth 22 (3)
2010–2011 Genoa 0 (0)
2010–2013 Milan 74 (10)
2013– Schalke 04 28 (6)
National team
2001–2002 Germany U15 4 (1)
2002–2003 Germany U16 10 (3)
2003–2004 Germany U17 10 (1)
2004–2005 Germany U19 9 (4)
2005–2006 Germany U20 2 (0)
2006–2009 Germany U21 6 (0)
2010–2014 Ghana 15 (2)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 11 May 2014.

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 23 June 2014

Kevin-Prince Boateng (pronounced [ˈkɛvɪn pʁɪns bo.aˈtɛŋ] ( ), born 6 March 1987) is a professional footballer who currently plays for FC Schalke 04.[2] A Ghanaian international, Boateng is a utility man and utilized in many positions.[8]

Boateng signed for Hertha BSC in the Bundesliga in July 1994. In 2006 he was nominated as one of the best youth players in Germany.[9] Boateng left the Bundesliga in 2007 to play in the Premier League but later returned to the Bundesliga with Borussia Dortmund in 2009. He later played for Tottenham Hotspur and Portsmouth in the Premier League and for Genoa CFC and AC Milan in Serie A, prior to playing for FC Schalke of the Bundesliga.

Boateng has eleven caps with two goals for the Ghana national football team, and was among the ten players nominated for African Footballer of the Year in 2010 and 2011.[10][11] Boateng is known for his intense dynamism; physical strength, extreme aggression, man-to-man marking, tempestuous sliding tackles, endurance, immense work rate, exceptional high jumping, acrobatics, both footedness, footspeed, and ball-juggling tricks.[9][12]

Club career

Early career

Reinickendorfer Füchse

Boateng started his career with the club Reinickendorfer Füchse and was with Hertha BSC from 1 July 1994, to 31 July 2007.[13]

Early time with Hertha BSC

Nike advertising murals, "Gewachsen auf Beton" ("Grown on Concrete"), in Badstraße 53, Berlin-Gesundbrunnen, Berlin; depicting Boateng and his brothers.

Hertha BSC II

After emerging from the Hertha BSC feeder teams, Boateng played for Hertha BSC II for two seasons. He was promoted to the Hertha BSC first team squad in the 2005–06 season.[9]

Hertha BSC

Boateng made his first team debut in a 2–0 win against Eintracht Frankfurt in the second round of the 2005–06 Bundesliga season on 13 August 2005 at the Olympic Stadium, being brought on at the beginning of the second half.[14][15]

Boateng was awarded the Fritz Walter Bronze Medal Award in the Under-18 category in 2005.[16] Boateng started his first Bundesliga match in a 2–2 draw against Borussia Mönchengladbach in the 14th round of the Bundesliga season.[17]

On 27 July 2006, Boateng was awarded the Fritz Walter Gold Medal in the Under-19 category.[16]

Tottenham Hotspur

Boateng signed a four-year contract with Tottenham Hotspur in July 2007 for a reported £5.4 million, securing him ahead of UEFA Cup holders Sevilla.[18] His success at the club was limited,[19] and he was loaned to Borussia Dortmund in January 2009 for the remainder of the season.[20]

He made ten Bundesliga appearances during his loan, but was forced to miss the final two matches of the season for a suspension of four matches imposed by the German Football Association (DFB) following a tough challenge and "no-nonsense flying kick" to the head of Makoto Hasebe, the captain of the Japan national football team.[21]

Dortmund were eager to sign him permanently at the end of the season, but financial constraints prevented them from doing so.[22][21][23]

Portsmouth

Portsmouth signed Boateng on a three-year contract in August 2009, for a fee of around £4 million.[24][25] On 12 September 2009, he scored his first goal for the club against Bolton Wanderers,[26] and was named Portsmouth's joint Player of the Month.[27] He finished his only season at the club with 3 goals in 22 Premier League games, as they were relegated amidst financial disarray.

In May 2010, Portsmouth played Chelsea in the FA Cup Final. Chelsea won the match 1–0. During the match, Boateng fouled Chelsea midfielder Michael Ballack, injuring Ballack's ankle and ruling him out of the impending World Cup. Boateng claimed that Ballack slapped him in the face prior to this, and that he apologised to Ballack personally for the tackle which left him injured.[28][29][30][31][32]

Boateng called the German media and the German national football team players hypocrites for backing Ballack whilst ignoring his slap on the pitch.[33] Boateng also criticised Joachim Löw for protecting Ballack after he slapped striker Lukas Podolski in a German national football team training match the previous year.[33]

Genoa and Milan

On 17 August 2010, Boateng transferred to Serie A club Genoa C.F.C., on a three-year contract for a reported £5 million, and then immediately joined A.C. Milan on loan.[34][35]

Collage of Boateng's three-and-a-half-year career at A.C. Milan

A.C. Milan signed Boateng permanently from Genoa in June 2011, on a four-year contract due to expire in June 2015.[36]

On 23 October 2011, Boateng came on as a half-time substitute against Lecce and scored three goals in 14 minutes. Milan had been 3–0 down at half time, but went on to win the game 4–3. Boateng is only the second player in the history of Serie A to score a hat-trick after coming on as a substitute.[37] The hat-trick was the fastest in Seria A since David Trezeguet scored a 10-minute hat-trick for Juventus in 2001.[38][39][40]

On 3 January 2013, Milan was playing Italian Lega Pro 2 side Pro Patria in a mid-season friendly, when Boateng and several other Milan players were the targets of racist chanting from a section of the Pro Patria crowd. Boateng reacted by kicking the ball into the stands before leaving the pitch, being followed off by his teammates. The match was subsequently abandoned.[41] His decision to walk off the pitch was later backed by various players and commentators.[42]

On 20 February 2013, Boateng scored the opening goal for Milan against Barcelona in the 2012–13 UEFA Champions League Round of 16 first leg, which Milan went on to win 2–0.[43]

In the 2012–13 season, Boateng was the second highest penalty cards receiver of red cards in the top-five European football leagues with Boateng receiving a red card every six matches.[44]

Schalke 04

On 30 August 2013, AC Milan announced that Boateng had been transferred to the German Bundesliga club Schalke 04, on a four-year contract due to expire in June 2017.[45]

Boateng made his debut for Schalke 04 in a 2–0 victory against Bayer Leverkusen.[46] On 14 September 2013, he scored the winning goal for Schalke 04 in a 1–0 win over Mainz.[47] On 30 October 2013, Boateng was voted the Schalke 04 player of the month for October 2013 by fans.[48] On 9 November 2013, Boateng scored two goals against Werder Bremen; Schalke 04 won the match 3–1.[49][50] Boateng helped Schalke 04 to third-place while Boateng finished as Schalke 04 third top goalscorer with 7 goals and Boateng received the most penalty cards, receiving a total of 6 yellow cards in the Bundesliga 2013–14 FC Schalke 04 season discipline.

Bloomberg L.P. sub-division Bloomberg Television Football Dynamics, indications revealed that Boateng was the most successful dribbler in Europe’s top-five football leagues.[51][52] Boateng had a minimum of 44 successful one-on-one’s battles, amounting to 75.47%.[51][52] With 73.02% dribbles during the 2013–2014 season.[51][52]

International career

Germany

Boateng holds a German passport, and he played for the German Under-15, Under-16, Under-17, Under-19, Under-20 and Under-21 national teams. His long-distance goal for the Under-19 team in a 2005 UEFA European Under-19 Football Championship match against Greece U19, which Germany U-19 won 3–0, was voted Goal of the Month by viewers of a German Das Erste TV sports show.[9]

In the year 2007, Berliner Morgenpost reported that then German Under-21 coach Dieter Eilts would no longer select him and other team players due to a curfew that had been broken in the team's camp during the June 2007 Toulon Tournament in France.[53][54] In February 2009, Boateng was called-up to the Germany U21 team by the new coach Horst Hrubesch for the international match against the Republic of Ireland in Cork, Ireland.[55] Hrubesch selected Boateng in the U21 squad for the 2009 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship in Sweden in June 2009.[56] However, a minor injury that Boateng picked up during the team's preparations leading up to the European Championship, ruled Boateng out of the tournament.[56][57]

Ghana

In May 2010, Boateng announced that, as he was yet to receive his first senior cap for Germany, he had accepted an offer from the GFA with an offer to play for the Ghanaian national team.[58] Boateng held his first training session with his team Black Stars in Ghana, prior the 2010 FIFA World Cup in May 2010.[59] Later that month, Boateng was cleared to play for Ghana by FIFA,[60][61] and attended training with the national side Black Stars for the first time in the same month.[59] Boateng made his debut in a 1–0 victory over Latvia in June 2010.[62]

2010 World Cup

Álvaro Fernández and Boateng – Uruguay-Ghana, 2010 World Cup.

Boateng was part of the Ghana squad for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa by head coach Milovan Rajevac.[33] On 23 June, he played in Ghana's game against Germany for whom his half-brother, Jérôme Boateng plays,[63] in which Ghana held-down Germany to a 60th minute lone goal and 1–0 win.[63] Boateng picked up the ball from the half-way line then dribbled the ball "rapidly bamboozling" his opponents from the half-way line before scoring for Ghana with a left-footed shot from outside the penalty area in the fourth minute of a 2–1 win over the United States in the round-of-16 in Rustenburg's Royal Bafokeng Sports Palace on 26 June.[64]

Retirement

In November 2011, Boateng announced his international retirement, citing fatigue from travel, and thus Boateng missed the chance to contend with Black Stars in January 2012 to win the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations.[65] In September 2012, Olympique Marseille's striker, his national team-mate and close friend André Ayew revealed that Boateng was considering to reverse his Black Stars retirement, and thus Boateng once again missed the chance to contend with Black Stars in January 2013 to win the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations.[66][67][68]

2014 World Cup

On 1 October 2013, Boateng was selected for the Ghana national football team's 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification play-offs against Egypt.[69] On 4 November 2013, he came on as a 79th minute substitute in the second leg and scored Ghana's only goal in the 89th minute as the Black Stars secured qualification to the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.[70]

On 2 June 2014, Boateng was named in Ghana's squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.[71] In the team's opening match, he came on as a second half substitute for the Black Stars against the United States in a 2–1 defeat.[72] He was then selected to start against Germany, the country of his birth, in Ghana's second match, during which, just like four years earlier in South Africa, he faced his half-brother Jérôme.[73][74]

On 26 June 2014, Boateng was sent home and indefinitely suspended from the Ghana squad for disciplinary reasons, only hours before the final Group match against Portugal, after verbally abusing Ghana manager James Kwesi Appiah during a team meeting. Boateng was sent home along with fellow midfielder Sulley Muntari.[75][76]

On 29 June 2014, Boateng has hit back at the Ghana Football Association after being sent home early from the World Cup, describing the Black Stars' organisation during the tournament in Brazil as "amateurish".[77]

International goals

Goal Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1 26 June 2010 Royal Bafokeng Stadium, Rustenburg, South Africa  United States 1–0 2–1 W 2010 World Cup
2 19 November 2013 30 June Stadium, Cairo, Egypt  Egypt 1–2 1–2
(W - 2nd Leg)
2014 World Cup Qualification – Play-Off Final

Reception

Kevin-Prince Boateng is like wine, he gets better with age, and costs more too.

Investor and businessman, Enrico Preziosi, Genoa.[78]

Boateng celebrates scoring goals with an acrobatic backflip.[79] As a Utility Man, Boateng is utilized in a variety of association football positions either as a defensive midfielder,[5][6] and as a box-to-box midfielder,[7] or as an attacking midfielder,[80] and as a striker,[80] or as a centre-back and as a sweeper or simply as a Utility Man.[6][7][17]

Career statistics