Kevin-Prince Boateng (born 6 March 1987) is a professional footballer who currently plays for FC Schalke 04. A Ghanaian international, Boateng is a versatile player and has been played in many positions.
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. 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.Boateng is known for his strength, footspeed, and ball-juggling tricks.
Boateng started his career with the club Reinickendorfer Füchse and was with Hertha BSC from 1 July 1994, to 31 July 2007.
Early time with Hertha BSC
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.
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.
Boateng was awarded the Fritz Walter Bronze Medal Award in the Under-18 category in 2005. 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.
Boateng signed a four-year contract with Tottenham Hotspur in July 2007. His success at the club was limited, and he was loaned to Borussia Dortmund in January 2009 for the remainder of the season.
Boateng joined Borussia Dortmund in the 2008–09 Bundesliga season on loan from Tottenham Hotspur. Dortmund were eager to sign him permanently at the end of the season, but financial constraints prevented them from doing so.
Boateng was forced to miss the final two matches of the season for a suspension of 4 matches imposed onto Boateng 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.
Portsmouth signed Boateng on a three-year contract in August 2009. On 12 September 2009, he scored his first goal for the club against Bolton Wanderers, and was named Portsmouth's joint Player of the Month.
In May 2010, Portsmouth played Chelsea in the final of the FA cup. 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.
Boateng called the German media and the German national football team players hypocrites for backing Ballack whilst ignoring his slap on the pitch. 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.
On 17 August 2010, Boateng transferred to Serie A club Genoa C.F.C., on a three-year contract, and then immediately joined A.C. Milan on loan.
AC Milan signed Boateng permanently from Genoa CFC in June 2011, on a four-year contract due to expire in June 2015.
On 23 October 2011, Boateng came on as half-time substitute 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. The hat-trick was the fastest in Seria A since David Trezeguet scored a 10-minute hat-trick for Juventus in 2001.
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. His decision to walk off the pitch was later backed by various players and commentators.
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.
In the 2012–2013 season, Boateng was the second highest penalty cards receiver of red cards in the top-5 European football leagues with Kevin-Prince Boateng receiving a red card every 6 matches.
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.
Boateng made his debut for Schalke 04 in a 2–0 victory against Bayer Leverkusen. On 14 September 2013, he scored the winning goal for Schalke 04 in a 1–0 win over Mainz. On 30 October 2013, Boateng was voted the Schalke 04 player of the month for October 2013 by fans. On 9 November 2013, Boateng scored two goals against Werder Bremen; Schalke 04 won the match 3–1. Boateng helped Schalke 04 to third-place while Boateng finished as Schalke 04 third top goal scorer 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 Kevin-Prince Boateng was the most successful dribbler in Europe’s top-five football leagues. Boateng had a minimum of 44 successful one-on-one’s battles, amounting to 75.47%. With 73.02% dribbles during the 2013–2014 season.
In April 2014, Arsène Wenger, manager of Arsenal revealed that he is set make an Arsenal reinforcement transfer with a transfer window bid for Kevin-Prince Boateng. In April 2014, Manchester United revealed that they are set to make a Manchester United reinforcement transfer by vying with Arsenal in making a transfer window bid for Kevin-Prince Boateng.
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.
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. 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. Hrubesch selected Boateng in the U21 squad for the 2009 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship in Sweden in June 2009. 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.
In May 2010, Boateng announced that, as he was yet to receive his first senior cap for Germany, due to his "take–no–prisoners sliding tackle" that annihilated the ligaments of Michael Ballack, he had accepted an offer from the GFA with an offer to play for the Ghanaian national team. Boateng held his first training session with his team Black Stars in Ghana, prior the 2010 FIFA World Cup in May 2010. Later that month, Boateng was cleared to play for Ghana by FIFA, and attended training with the national side Black Stars for the first time in the same month. Boateng made his debut in a 1–0 victory over Latvia in June 2010.
2010 World Cup
Boateng was part of the Ghana squad for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa by head coach Milovan Rajevac. On 23 June, he played in Ghana's game against Germany for whom his half-brother, Jérôme Boateng plays, in which Ghana held-down Germany to a narrow 60th minute lone goal and 1–0 win. 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.
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. 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.
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. 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.
On 12 May 2014, Boateng was named in Ghana's 26-man provisional squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
Boateng celebrates scoring goals with an acrobatic backflip. Boateng generally plays in a variety of midfield positions either as an attacking midfielder or as a striker, and as a defensive midfielder, or as a box-to-box midfielder, and as a centre-back or simply as a Utility Man.
Boateng's uncle, Robert Boateng is a former professional footballer and Ghana international midfielder and played for African and Ghanaian giants Asante Kotoko. Boateng's cousin, Nyan Boateng is an American football wide receiver formally of the New York Giants in NFL.
Boateng's mother's name is Christine, and through her he is related to legendary football player Helmut Rahn. Known as "The Boss", his uncle scored the winning goal for Germany in the final of the 1954 World Cup.
Boateng claims to be proficient in six languages. Boateng is a practising Muslim and keenly recites the Islamic faith holy Quran and observes the Islamic Ramadan of the Islamic calendar. With regard to his wealth from his business venture capitals, testimonials, commercial sponsors and footballing career, Boateng stated in an interview with La Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper that he does not think that he is a star and that he never talks about money and his wealth. Boateng is known to possess a Gulfstream business jet.
Television network DStv named Boateng as one of the top 5 sexiest African sports men.
In March 2013, Boateng was named as the United Nations ambassador for anti-racism. Boateng delivered his first speech as a UN ambassador to the United Nations, accompanied by UN human rights Chief Navi Pillay at the United Nations Office.
In February 2013, Boateng was appointed as the first global ambassador for the Fédération Internationale de Football Association's anti-discrimination taskforce and work alongside FIFA vice-president, Jeffrey Webb at FIFA. On March 2013, Boateng presented FIFA President Sepp Blatter with his first phase of solutions to ending global racism in football, as requested by Blatter.