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 28)[2]
Place of birth Wedding, West Berlin, West Germany
Height 1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)[3][4]
Playing position Midfielder / Forward[5][6][7]
Club information
Current team
Schalke 04
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)
2010–2013 Milan 74 (10)
2013– Schalke 04 46 (6)
National team
2010– Ghana 15 (2)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 20 May 2015.
† Appearances (goals)

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 21 June 2014

Kevin-Prince Boateng About this sound pronunciation  (pronounced [ˈkɛvɪn pʁɪns bo.aˈtɛŋ]; born 6 March 1987), also known by his shirt name Prince,[8] is a German-Ghanaian footballer who plays for FC Schalke 04 and the Ghana national team.[2] He primarily plays as a midfielder.[9]

Boateng is known for his strength, footspeed, and ball-juggling tricks.[10][11] A 2014 profile on FIFA's official website described Boateng as "blessed with strength, speed, killer instinct in front of goal, and an uncommon flamboyance in the attacking third".[12]

Football career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Reinickendorfer Füchse

Boateng started his club career with the club Reinickendorfer Füchse in early 1994 (aged 6 years) prior to signing for the club Hertha BSC on 1 July 1994 (aged 7 years), playing for them to 31 July 2007 (aged 20 years).[13]

Early time with Hertha BSC[edit]

Hertha BSC II[edit]

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.[10]

Hertha BSC[edit]

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]

Boateng was awarded the Fritz Walter Bronze Medal Award in the Under-18 category in 2005.[15] Boateng started his first Bundesliga match in a 2–2 draw against Borussia Mönchengladbach in the 14th round of the Bundesliga season.

On 27 July 2006, Boateng was awarded the Fritz Walter Gold Medal in the Under-19 category.[15]

Tottenham Hotspur and Borussia Dortmund[edit]

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.[16] His success at the club was limited,[17] and he was loaned to Borussia Dortmund in January 2009 for the remainder of the season.[18]

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.[19]

Dortmund were eager to sign him permanently at the end of the season, but financial constraints prevented them from doing so.[19][20][21]


Boateng playing for Portsmouth in the 2010 FA Cup Final

Portsmouth signed Boateng on a three-year contract in August 2009, for a reported fee of around £4 million.[22][23] On 12 September 2009, he scored his first goal for the club against Bolton Wanderers,[24] and was named Portsmouth's joint Player of the Month.[25] 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.[26][27][28][29][30]

Boateng called the German media and the German national football team players hypocrites for backing Ballack whilst ignoring his slap on the pitch.[31] 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.[31]

Genoa and Milan[edit]

Boateng playing for A.C. Milan in 2012

On 17 August 2010, Boateng transferred to Serie A club Genoa, on a three-year contract for €5.75 million,[32] (a reported €5.7 million plus Vanden Borre, despite the latter fell through[33]) and then immediately joined A.C. Milan on loan.[34][35] The deal later became a co-ownership deal in the same transfer window for €5.25 million.[36] Milan signed Boateng permanently from Genoa in June 2011 for €7 million,[37] on a four-year contract due to expire in June 2015.[38]

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.[39] The hat-trick was the fastest in Serie A since David Trezeguet scored a 10-minute hat-trick for Juventus in 2001.[40][41][42]

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, and was followed off by his teammates. The match was subsequently abandoned.[43] His decision to walk off the pitch was later backed by various players and commentators.[44]

On 20 February, 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.[45] In August 2013, he was quoted as saying he had changed his style since signing for Milan, from playing primarily as a defensive midfielder to adopting the role of trequartista.[46]

Schalke 04[edit]

Boateng joined Schalke in the summer of 2013

On 30 August 2013, AC Milan announced that Boateng had been transferred to the German Bundesliga club Schalke 04 for €10 million transfer fee,[47] on a four-year contract due to expire in June 2017.[48]

Boateng made his debut for Schalke 04 in a 2–0 victory against Bayer Leverkusen.[49] On 14 September 2013, he scored the winning goal for Schalke 04 in a 1–0 win over Mainz.[50] On 30 October 2013, Boateng was voted the Schalke 04 player of the month for October 2013 by fans.[51] On 9 November 2013, Boateng scored two goals against Werder Bremen; Schalke 04 won the match 3–1.[52][53] Boateng scored seven Bundesliga goals over the season as Schalke finished in third place.[54]

On 11 May 2015, Boateng, alongside Sidney Sam and Marco Höger, was suspended indefinitely from the club in the aftermath of a defeat against 1. FC Köln as a result of poor behaviour which claimed to have led to the club's poor domestic performances.[55][56]

National team[edit]

Youth international career[edit]


Boateng holds a German passport, and he played for the Germany national youth football team. 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.[10]

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.[57][58] 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.[59] Hrubesch selected Boateng in the preliminary U21 squad for the 2009 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship in Sweden in June 2009.[60]

In June 2009, Boateng told the German authorities that he was no longer interested in representing Germany.[61]

Senior international career[edit]

Switch to Ghana[edit]

Boateng received a Ghanaian passport on 7 May 2010,[62] and Boateng says that he feels more Ghanaian,[63] which enabled him to switch his allegiance to Ghana in May 2010,[64][65] and begin his senior international football career by attending training with the national side, The Black Stars, that same month at the Accra Sports Stadium in Greater Accra prior the 2010 FIFA World Cup.[66] Boateng made his debut in a 1–0 victory over Latvia in June 2010.[67]

2006 World Cup[edit]

In 2006, the Ghana Football Association had been in contact with Boateng on him representing the Ghana national football team, ahead of the 2006 FIFA World Cup.[61] But the process, under which FIFA had to decide on his eligibility, would be long, as Boateng was past the age under the old FIFA rules where old youth internationals could switch allegiance but FIFA's decision to reverse the rules in 2009 had given Boateng the green light to switch his allegiance, and time appeared to be running out when his clearance to represent The Black Stars had still not arrived at the beginning of May 2010.[61]

2010 World Cup[edit]

Boateng playing for Ghana at the 2010 FIFA World Cup

Boateng was selected as part of the Ghana squad for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa by head coach Milovan Rajevac,[31] to fill in for the injured Michael Essien alongside defensive midfielder Anthony Annan.[5] On 23 June, he was selected to start in Ghana's game against Germany, whose team included his brother Jerome. Ghana held Germany to a 60th minute lone goal and 1–0 win.[68] It was the first time that two brothers played on opposite teams at the World Cup.[69] Boateng picked up the ball from the half-way line, dribbled it "rapidly bamboozling" his opponents before scoring 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.[70]


In November 2011, Boateng announced his international retirement, citing fatigue from travel at the age of 24 years, thus missing the chance to contest the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations.[71] In September 2012, Olympique Marseille's striker, his national team-mate and close friend André Ayew, revealed that Boateng was considering reversing his decision to retire, but he did not play in the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations either.[72][73][74]

2014 World Cup[edit]

On 1 October 2013, Boateng was selected for Ghana's 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification play-offs against Egypt.[75] 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 for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.[76]

On 2 June 2014, Boateng was named in Ghana's squad for the World Cup finals.[77] In the team's opening match, he came on as a second-half substitute against the United States in a 2–1 defeat.[78] He was then selected to start against Germany in a 2–2 draw.[79][80]

On 26 June, Boateng was sent home and suspended from the Ghana squad for disciplinary reasons, only hours before the final group match against Portugal, after he was alleged to have verbally abused former manager James Kwesi Appiah during a team meeting.[81] Boateng was sent home along with midfielder Sulley Muntari.[82][83] On 29 June, Boateng had hit back at the Ghana Football Association, describing the Black Stars' organisation during the tournament as "amateurish".[84]


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

Enrico Preziosi, president of Genoa C.F.C..[85]

Boateng has always been known for his aggression and leadership.[86] A 2012 analysis of the player's qualities on the ESPN website suggests that at the time he signed for Milan, the manager needed a trequartista, but that Boateng did not appear to possess the skillset normally associated with that role. His game has a particular dependence on "sheer strength, power and energy". He can produce the work rate, ball retrieval and attacking willingness of the box-to-box midfielder, but is not especially creative, "influencing the game with power rather than craft". He combines technical skill with speed of action, and according to ESPN's analyst, "that's what makes Boateng so dangerous. It's not always what he does, but the speed with which he does it".[87] Boateng is utilized in a variety of positions: either box-to-box,[7] or as an attacking midfielder or forward.[88]

Boateng celebrates scoring goals with an acrobatic backflip.[89]

Career statistics[edit]