Kevin-Prince Boateng
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 2 November 2013.

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 3 June 2011

Kevin-Prince Boateng (pronounced [ˈkɛvɪn pʁɪns bo.aˈtɛŋ] born 6 March 1987) is a professional football box-to-box midfielder and defensive midfielder who plays for the German Bundesliga club Schalke 04 and the Ghana national football team. He plays under the name of Prince, and as a versatile player, he has been used on occasion as a winger and even as a striker.[9]

Boateng signed for Hertha BSC in the Bundesliga in July 1994, in 2006 to 2007, he was nominated as the best youth player in Germany; following strong performances as defensive midfielder and from 2001 to 2009, he represented Germany from under-15s to their under-21s.[10] He left the Bundesliga to play in the Premier League via a return to the Bundesliga with Borussia Dortmund from 2007 to 2010, winning one title in his first season and helping his second Premier League club to a runner-up place in another competition in his third season, before playing in the Serie A, where he had won two titles in two seasons and scoring the winning goal in one title then he returned to the Bundesliga. Boateng has nine caps for the Ghana national football team, and was among the top-ten players nominated for African Footballer of the Year in 2010 and 2011.[11][12]

Boateng is known for his strength, footspeed, and ball-juggling tricks.[10][13]

Club career

Early career

Reinickendorfer Füchse

Boateng started his career with the youth club Reinickendorfer Füchse and was with Hertha BSC from 1 July 1994, when he was just seven years old, to 31 July 2007 with Jérôme Boateng.[14]

Early time with Hertha BSC

Hertha BSC II

After emerging from the youth team set-up, 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

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, he then impressed during the game, and was on the fringe of the first team from then on, despite barely being 18 years old at the time.[15][16]

Boateng was awarded the Fritz Walter Bronze Medal Award in the Under-18 category in 2005.[17] Boateng continued his rise, and started his first Bundesliga match in the 2–2 draw against Borussia Mönchengladbach in the 14th round of the Bundesliga season. On 4 February 2006, Boateng scored in the 20th minute to earn Hertha BSC a 1–1 draw against Eintracht Frankfurt at the Commerzbank-Arena in the 19th round of the Bundesliga season.[18] On 11 March 2006, Boateng scored the first goal in the 53rd minute of the 3–0 win against Werder Bremen at the Weserstadion in the 25th round of the 2005–06 Bundesliga season.[19]

2006–07 season

In 2006, Boateng had revealed that he identified Pelé and Rivaldo as his role models, occasionally imitating the duo with crowd-pleasing moments while he was with Hertha BSC.[10] His love of playing to the gallery would draw applause, and he was advised by Germany Under-19 coach, Uli Stielike that he would need to reduce the style of play at senior level.[10][20] Boateng has since cut down on the style of play.[10]

On 27 July 2006, Boateng was awarded the Fritz Walter Gold Medal in the Under-19 category. The medal is awarded on the basis of performances for the German Under-17, Under-18 and Under-19 national teams. A jury consisting of German Football Association (DFB), youth coaches, and members of the DFB Board, put Boateng top of the poll.[17] Sport director Matthias Sammer and DFB coach Horst Hrubesch honored the talented player with the gold prize winner award,[17] at the Stadtbauraum, Gelsenkirchen in Germany on 16 August 2006. In the 2006–07 Hertha BSC season on 14 September 2006, Boateng scored in the 50th minute of a 2006–07 UEFA Cup 2–2 match draw against Odense BK. On 23 September 2006, Boateng scored in the 56th minute to earn Hertha BSC a comeback in their fifth Bundesliga match, after going down 0–1 in the 49th minute of a 1–1 match draw against 1. FSV Mainz 05 at the Stadion am Bruchweg.[21] On 19 May 2007, Boateng scored the first goal in the 48th minute of Hertha BSC' 2–1 match win against Eintracht Frankfurt in the 34th match of the 2006–07 Bundesliga season.[22]

Tottenham Hotspur

2007–08 season

Boateng signed a four-year contract with Tottenham Hotspur in the 2007–08 Tottenham Hotspur F.C. season in July 2007.[23]

Tottenham Hotspur didn't give me a chance and support to reach my potential as a player, and I didn't focus on work. But those problems helped me become a better player and man.

Kevin-Prince Boateng speaking on his two seasons at Tottenham Hotspur in February 2012.[24]

He played his first match in the Premier League on 3 November 2007, against Middlesbrough. Boateng captured his first title and Tottenham Hotspur's first title since 1991 in the 2007–08 Football League Cup. With the departure of Tottenham manager Martin Jol, and the arrival of Juande Ramos, Boateng saw limited first team action following a loss of concentration and lack of dedication when playing.[25] Boateng got increased first team action under new coach Harry Redknapp[26] then was later loaned during the January transfer window of 2009 to Borussia Dortmund for the remainder of the season.[27]

2008–09 season

Boateng then returned to Tottenham Hotspur at the end of the 2008–09 Tottenham Hotspur F.C. season. His last game for Tottenham Hotspur came as a substitute in the club's 5–1 win in the Football League Cup over Doncaster Rovers in August 2009.[28]

Borussia Dortmund

2008–09 season

Boateng joined Borussia Dortmund in the 2008–09 Bundesliga season on loan from Tottenham Hotspur. On 11 April 2009, Boateng played his first match for Borussia Dortmund in a Bundesliga 3–1 match win against 1. FC Köln. Boateng convinced the coach Jürgen Klopp with his services at Borussia Dortmund to sign him, but the option to sign Boateng from Tottenham Hotspur had fell-through; Klopp spoke about Kevin-Prince Boateng with Borussia Dortmund saying, "We would like to keep him, but we just did not have the money that his club Tottenham Hotspur required. If we had the money tomorrow, he would be back tomorrow".[29][30][31]


2009–10 season

Avram Grant signed Boateng from Tottenham Hotspur following Grant departing Premier League club Chelsea as manager for the role of director of football at Portsmouth and he signed Boateng to a three-year contract with the Premier League club in the 2009–10 Portsmouth F.C. season in August 2009.[32][33] On 12 September 2009, he scored his first Portsmouth goal in the 43rd minute of Portsmouth's sixth Premier League match against Bolton Wanderers,[34] and was named Portsmouth's Player of the Month in September 2009.[35] On 2 January 2010, Boateng scored in the 45th (+1) minute of a comeback, after going down 0–1 in the 30th minute of the 2009–10 FA Cup third round to rescue Portsmouth to a 1–1 draw against Coventry City.[36]

On 11 April 2010, Boateng scored in the 117th minute of the 2009–10 FA Cup semi-finals 2–0 match win against Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley Stadium, and took Portsmouth to the 2010 FA Cup Final[37] where they met Chelsea. In the 1–0 defeat, Boateng claimed to have been slapped in the face by Michael Ballack.[38][39][40][41] He had fouled Ballack, accidentally causing partially torn right ankle ligaments,[42][43] which ruled him out of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.[44] Boateng immediately apologized to Ballack on the pitch.[41][45] Boateng then had a penalty saved by goalkeeper Petr Čech in the 54th minute of the match.[46][47] Portsmouth was deducted 10 points for going into financial administration, and would later face relegation from the 2009–10 Premier League by financial difficulties. Boateng finished 2009–10 as Portsmouth's third top-goalscorer in the Premier League and overall fourth top-goalscorer of 2009–10.

Can Ballack as a captain slap whomever he wants? That was clearly violent conduct. If I had done that, I would have been banned for years. That is why I left the Germany set-up to represent Ghana.

Kevin-Prince Boateng commenting in May 2010.[48]

The 23-year-old Boateng claimed that the German media and the German national football team players were hypocrites to back Ballack without criticizing him over his blatant slap.[48] Boateng then moved one step further to condemn Joachim Löw about protecting Ballack after he slapped striker Lukas Podolski in a German national football team training match the previous year in 2009.[48]

In the 2010 January transfer window, Borussia Dortmund head coach Jürgen Klopp sought to re-sign Boateng from Portsmouth,[49] as Portsmouth were desperate to sell to balance their balance sheet following demotion from the Premier League and following BVB being priced out of a deal for Boateng a year prior by Tottenham Hotspur.


2010–11 season

Boateng transferred to Serie A club Genoa on 17 August 2010,[50] and immediately joined Milan on loan.[51][52] However, as anticipated by Milan CEO Adriano Galliani, the contract was later switched from loan to co-ownership.[53] His contract with A.C. Milan expires approximately on 30 June 2015,[53] with his buy-out clause valued at 7 million.[54]

Boateng made his competitive debut for Milan in the 2010–11 A.C. Milan season on 29 August 2010 in their 4–0 Serie A match win against Lecce after coming on in the 75th minute. On 15 September 2010, Boateng made his debut in the UEFA Champions League for Milan in their 2–0 win against AJ Auxerre at the San Siro, coming on in the 15th minute for Massimo Ambrosini. His first goal for the club came in the fourth minute of Milan's 3–0 win and 15th Serie A match against Brescia. On 22 May 2011, Milan celebrated their 2010–11 Serie A title and first since 2004, with Boateng performing a Michael Jackson dance routine during the celebrations.[55]

In May 2011, A.C. Milan permanently signed Boateng from Genoa C.F.C.[56][57] He finished 2010–11 as Milan's sixth top-goalscorer in Serie A and overall seventh top-goalscorer of the season.

2011–12 season

Boateng playing in 2012

On 6 August 2011, in the 2011–12 A.C. Milan season, Boateng scored the second goal in the 69th minute of a 2–1 win against Internazionale to give Milan their first Supercoppa Italiana since 2004. On 19 October 2011, Boateng scored the second goal in the 70th minute of a 2–0 Champions League Group H match win against BATE Borisov. On 23 October 2011, Boateng came on as half-time substitute and in 14 minutes scored three goals in the 49th minute with his left foot, 55th minute and 63rd minute with his right foot for Milan against Lecce in a comeback, after going down 0–3 at half-time in their seventh Serie A match. Milan won the match 4–3. Boateng became only the second player in the history of Serie A to score a hat-trick after coming on as a substitute.[7] Boateng stated that the three goals derived from him being unhappy that he was left on the bench.[7]

On 23 November 2011, Boateng scored a spectacular goal in a Champions League match against F.C. Barcelona at the San Siro. On 25 April 2012, Boateng scored Milan's only goal in the 86th minute of their 1–0 win and 34th Serie A match against Genoa. On 13 May 2012, Milan controversially finished second place to Juventus in the 2011–12 Serie A, four points from containing their Serie A title.[58] Boateng had finished 2011–12 as Milan's fourth top-goalscorer in Serie A and overall fourth top-goalscorer of 2011–12.

2012–13 season

At the start of 2012–13 season when interviewed, Boateng said that he was unhappy that Thiago Silva, Alessandro Nesta, Gennaro Gattuso, Clarence Seedorf, Ronaldinho, Andrea Pirlo, Zlatan Ibrahimović, and Antonio Cassano had left the club, Boateng along with head coach Massimiliano Allegri also said he wished he had been at the club when some of the star players were in their prime, "I regret not joining the team earlier so I could have team-mates like Paolo Maldini and Ronaldo", and that he wanted to become one of the best players in the world.[59][60]

I have a great relationship with Mario Balotelli. I get along the best with Balotelli and Stephan El Shaarawy at A.C. Milan. I feel like I’m responsible for Balotelli and El Shaarawy, and that I have to guide them.

Kevin-Prince Boateng statement on 26 April 2013.[61]

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 being followed off the pitch by his teammates. The racists caused the game to be abandoned.[62] His decision to walk off the pitch was subsequently backed by various other players and commentators.[63]

History shows us how important the contributions of famous athletes can be. I can say that the fact that Barack Hussein Obama shares my great dark skin, has something to do not only with the great Martin Luther King, but also with the great Muhammad Ali.

Kevin-Prince Boateng speaking to the United Nations.[64]

On 20 February 2013, Boateng scored a key 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.[65]

2013–14 season

With Borussia Dortmund I have a strong link with the players and the fans from when I played there. It is my favourite club- I watch all their games. I am still in contact with Jürgen Klopp, Nuri Şahin, Jakub Błaszczykowski and Marcel Schmelzer. I have a great link with them.

Kevin-Prince Boateng opens door to Borussia Dortmund move on 6 August 2013.[66]

On 28 August 2013, Boateng scored two goals in the 2013–14 UEFA Champions League play-off round in a 3–0 win against Dutch club PSV Eindhoven, securing AC Milan a place in the 2013–14 UEFA Champions League group stage and Boateng entered the history books of AC Milan by becoming the first Milan player to score two goals on his 100th appearance and last match for the club.[67]

Bayern Munich and German football legend Lothar Matthäus stated that Boateng was destined to leave AC Milan and the reasoning for Boateng departing from AC Milan was that Boateng could no longer endure being in the spotlight and under extreme pressure with Matthäus stating that there are factions within AC Milan who hold meeting regarding players and Boateng was no exception, Boateng is actually glad that he got a new club before the transfer window ended,” Matthäus told Sky Deutschland; “In the Milan team, there were discussions and also in the private sphere, Boateng was repeatedly the headline topic and it was just too much.[68]

Schalke 04

2013–14 season

Schalke 04 are a top club, who are also in the Champions League. It’s a new challenge for me and I can continue my development here. I like working with young managers such as Jens Keller - it was simply a perfect fit. I’m really looking forward to it.

Kevin-Prince Boateng speaking on his transfer on 31 August 2013.[69]

On 30 August 2013, AC Milan announced that Boateng handed in a transfer request and had been transferred to the German Bundesliga club Schalke 04,[70] by signing a four-year contract.[71] Schalke 04 paid a fee believed to be around €15 million to land Boateng.[72]

Boateng debuted for Schalke 04 in the 2013–14 FC Schalke 04 season on 31 August 2013 in their 2–0 Bundesliga match victory against Bayer Leverkusen in the 4th round of the 2013–2014 Bundesliga season.[73] On 14 September 2013, Boateng scored the decisive goal for Schalke in a 1–0 win over Mainz.[74]

International career

Career start


Boateng began his international career with the German Under-15, through to 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 TV sports show.[10] Soon after 2005 UEFA European Under-19 Football Championship, Boateng was asked by the Ghana Football Association (GFA) to represent an opportunistic Black Stars (Ghana national football team) in the 2006 World Cup Finals, but Boateng turned the offer down.[48] By this stage of Boateng's international career, he had already represented German national football teams 41 times at various underage levels and this declination by Boateng to represent the Ghana national football team at the 2006 World Cup garnered huge praise from many quarters in the German media, most notably from Boateng's ex-German international manager at Hertha BSC, Dieter Hoeneß.[48] However, less than one year later Kevin-Prince Boateng was to find himself ostracized from German football after Dieter Eilts deemed him to be a negative influence on his German U-21 national football team squad.[48]


In the year 2008, Berliner Morgenpost reported that the then German national Under-21 coach Dieter Eilts stated that he would no longer call him and other players up due to a night-time curfew that had been broken in the team training camp during the June 2007 Toulon Tournament in France.[77] In February 2009, Boateng was re-called up to the German national under-21 team by the new coach Horst Hrubesch for the international match against the Republic of Ireland National Under-21 in Cork, Republic of Ireland.[78] Hrubesch nominated Boateng in the German national under-21 squad for the 2009 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship,[79] however a minor injury that Boateng claimed to have had during the German national under-21 team's preparations leading up to the 2009 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship in Sweden in June 2009, ruled Boateng out of the tournament.[79][80]

Ghana Black Stars


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

Boateng defected from representing Germany following persistent clashes from June 2007 with the DFB management and the technical director Matthias Sammer of the German Football Association (DFB) in 2009 as reported by Europe's biggest sports magazine' Sport Bild,[81][82] and in May 2009, Boateng announced that he would really love to play for the Ghana national football team (Black Stars) and after a year of waiting for clearance FIFA finally approved for him to do so in May 2010.[83] Boateng held his first training camp with his team in Ghana, prior the 2010 FIFA World Cup in May 2010.[84] In May 2010, FIFA cleared Boateng in time to play with the Ghana national football team at the 2010 FIFA World Cup.[85] Boateng made his debut with Ghana national football team in the 1–0 victory over Latvia national football team.[86]

Boateng was named in the Ghana World Cup squad for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa by head coach Milovan Rajevac, filling in for Michael Essien as defensive midfielder.[48] On 23 June, he played for Ghana against his brother Jérôme Boateng (playing for Germany) in Ghana's 1–0 defeat. This was the first time that two brothers had played for opposing teams in an international match and been on the pitch at the same time.[87] He scored his first international goal by 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. He later played in Ghana's quarter-finals match Uruguay, a controversial 1–1 draw that saw the Black Stars eliminated in a penalty shoot-out.[88]


Boateng received his first international call-up of the 2010–2011 season on 5 September 2010 in a 3–0 victory for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations qualification,[89] and Boateng received his third international call-up and 2012 Africa Cup of Nations qualification of the 2010–2011 season on 3 June 2011 in a 3–1 victory at the Baba Yara Stadium in which qualification for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea was secured.[90]


In November 2011, Boateng announced that he would pardon himself and temporarily retire from his national football team, citing that he would concentrate on his club career in order to win the 2011–12 UEFA Champions League.[91]

In June 2012, Boateng turned down an invitation from the Chancellor of Germany to meet with Angela Merkel.[92]


In September 2012, Boateng revealed that he will reverse retirement from his national football team to his team-mate André Ayew.[93][94][95] Boateng reversed temporary retirement from his national football team Black Stars,[96] and Boateng received international call-ups for two 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifications in the 2012–2013 season in May 2013; a 3–1 victory on 7 June 2013 and a consecutive 2–0 victory on 16 June 2013; and was deployed as standby player for the Ghana national football team.[97]


When I played for the Ghana Black Stars, I learned how to fight malaria. Simple vaccines are not enough to keep a human from dying of malaria. Now I'am 100% immune to malaria.

Kevin-Prince Boateng on playing for the Black Stars.[64]

On 8 August 2013, Boateng received international call-up for 14 August 2013 in a 2–2 draw international friendly with the Turkey national football team at the Atatürk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul, Turkey and employed as standby player for the Ghana national football team.[98] Boateng was deployed as standby player for the Ghana national football team's 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification 2–1 victory on 10 September 2013 in Kumasi, Ghana.[99] On 1 October 2013, Boateng was once again deployed as standby player for the Ghana national football team's 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification final in a consecutive sweet 6–1 victory at the Kumasi Sports Stadium on 15 October 2013 in Ghana.[100]

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

Playing style

In answer to growing criticism following the closure of the 2006–07 Bundesliga playing in Germany for Hertha BSC, Boateng chose to join Tottenhan Hotspur in the transfer window of 2007–08 season and captured his first title in the 2007–08 Football League Cup in his first season and Tottenham Hotspur's first title since 1991 then the transfer was to prove an incorrect one, as in the second season under a succession of managers who did not know how to implement Boateng's skills, he found himself on the periphery of the Tottenham Hotspurs squad due to the lack of concentraction and dedication for success in his football career in the 2008–09 season.[48]

Boateng is dominant in a hundred of ways on how to take and receive a ball, and he has dozens of options to overtake an opponent with his skills. Due to his technical strength – Boateng provides his team-mates with confidence, many options, and promising performances on a pitch and they put him so much in the limelight. In particular, Boateng has an exceptionally good shooting technique and shooting power.

Borussia Dortmund head coach and Boateng's head coach at Borussia Dortmund Jürgen Klopp on Boateng[29]

"I have changed my style of play recently. Before coming to Milan I was primarily a defensive midfielder, but in Italy I have become a trequartista. I know I still have to improve in certain respects, such as my finishing, but I’m working on it."

Kevin-Prince Boateng[8]
(12 August 2013)

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

Investor and businessman, Enrico Preziosi, Genoa.[101]

In the 2010–11 season, with Boateng playing as a concentrated aggressive and dedicated combative defensive midfielder or box-to-box midfielder he was nicknamed by the supporters of A.C. Milan as the Big Bang Boateng for his high aggressive and combative energetic playing style in the defensive midfield role which saw A.C. Milan capturing their first domestic title since 2004 by winning the 2010–11 Serie A title and in the 2011–12 season, in Serie A play A.C. Milan had collected 36 points from 19 matches, or 1.89 points per match, when Boateng wasn't on the football pitch. With Boateng on the football pitch, A.C. Milan had collected 38 points from 17 matches, or 2.24 points per match, due to Boateng's high aggression and extreme workrate in the defensive midfield and box-to-box midfield roles.[102] Boateng celebrates scoring goals with an acrobatic backflip.[103] In the following 2012–13 season other than being deployed as defensive midfielder or box-to-box midfielder, he was tasked with the role of utility player.[7][104][105][106][107]

Aggression is an integral part of the football game. You shouldn't go overboard, but it really is important. You don't want the other team thinking they can go out on the football pitch and take all three points just like that.

Kevin-Prince Boateng combative style, speaking on 31 August 2013.[69]

Kevin-Prince Boateng has developed fantastically, but still kept his identity.

Career statistics

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