At the age of 20, Kevin-Prince Boateng moved from Hertha BSC to Tottenham. He hardly played – and therefore completely lost control of his life.
Compared to the Mirror Kevin-Prince Boateng once made it clear what went wrong in his year and a half at Tottenham Hotspur: “I barely played and had no drive to train in the morning. I was caught in a lethargy. Nightclubs and parties were more important than football,” he said the English newspaper in 2010 when he was playing for Portsmouth FC.
There he had prevailed in the Premier League and became a Ghanaian national player. His first engagement in England, that at Tottenham, however, turned into a nightmare.
“I went to Spurs when I was 20 and immediately suffered a huge setback,” said Boateng, who moved from Hertha BSC to London in the summer of 2007 for just under eight million euros. “After a strong preparation, Martin Jol (then Tottenham coach, d. Red.) Told me that although I am a good guy and am under contract, he doesn’t want me at all.”
VIDEO: Kevin-Prince Boateng shows off his dance skills and imitates Michael Jackson.
Kevin-Prince Boateng: “I was all alone in this huge city”
That must have sat. In addition, because he didn’t really want to go to England, as he later revealed: “I would have preferred Spain, but at Hertha people advised me to go to England.” At that time, Sevilla FC was also up to him, Boateng said in an interview with SPOX and GOAL.
But it became Tottenham – and it became bitter. “I was all alone in this huge city of London, it was depressing,” he explained. He didn’t get a chance at all in the first few weeks and was only allowed to play in the Premier League for the first time on matchday 12 of the 2007/08 season. In the middle of the season he had a decent phase, but nothing worked from the beginning of March until the end of the season.
Boateng set the wrong priorities, as he himself admits. “It was important to me to wear the coolest clothes and to be known in the nightclubs. I was completely on the wrong track.” The lack of playing time frustrated him more and more, just as the sweet life with the financial possibilities of a professional footballer overwhelmed him.
Kevin-Prince Boateng bought three cars in one day
“Once I bought three cars in one day,” said the now 34-year-old midfielder. Boateng bought a Lamborghini, a Hummer and a Cadillac classic car, “for a high six-figure sum. I also have 2,000 baseball caps from this period, 20 leather jackets and 160 pairs of shoes. My frustration was expressed in massive fits of shopping. Seeks.”
Because he had no one on site to talk to, who could have slowed him down, Boateng couldn’t get out of that downward spiral. “I would have needed someone to advise me on sporting and financial matters, to wake me up. But there was no one,” he says. Sometimes he has spent “huge sums of money” on a night of celebration. “But that didn’t make me happy. I was a broken man who lived in his own world.”
In his first season at Spurs, he still booked 13 Premier League appearances, but in the first half of his second season he only managed a mere 14 minutes of playing time. He pulled the emergency brake and was loaned to Borussia Dortmund at the beginning of 2009. And there, at BVB, he gets the corner, in Jürgen Klopp he has the sponsor that he has always lacked at Tottenham. “He knows exactly what to say in order for you to go out on the pitch and die for him. He’s ahead of everyone else,” said Boateng SPOX and GOAL about today’s Liverpool coach. “I would even move to China for Klopp.”
Kevin-Prince Boateng learned from Tottenham: “One year only screwed up, but …”
In the summer of 2009 he first had to return to Tottenham, but then went to Portsmouth and came to AC Milan via Genoa in 2010 after the successful World Cup with Ghana, where he played with Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Ronaldinho, Andrea Pirlo and Robinho. He became Italian champion and later played for Schalke, Frankfurt, Barcelona, Florence and Besiktas. Boateng has now returned to his youth club Hertha.
Hertha BSC is not just any club for Boateng, he made it clear at his presentation in the summer: “I’m here to give something back. I’ve been around a lot over the years and I’ve learned a lot, but all of that, my entire career, I owe this club to me. I have never forgotten that, Hertha was always in my heart. “
It is probably the end of his career. A career that for him also includes the dark time at Tottenham. “If I hadn’t gone to Tottenham, I wouldn’t be who I am today,” he said. “I screwed up there for a year, but looking back it helped me. I learned what it means to be a professional footballer and how to eat properly. I realized that you should stay home when everyone should drag others around the houses at night. “