Kevin-Prince Boateng believes he would have enjoyed a 10-year playing at Manchester United or Real Madrid had his frame of mind from an early age been correct.
The 32-year-old German-born former Ghana international forward is currently plying his trade at Barcelona where he is on-loan from Serie A outfit Sassuolo.
Boateng’s career: Five things to know…
- Including loan spells, Barcelona is the 10th club Boateng has represented since making his debut in 2005.
- He is one of eight players to have scored in each of Europe’s top-four leagues.
- Boateng represented Ghana at two World Cups (2010 and 2014), scoring once in seven matches.
- He’s lifted two major league titles: Serie A (2010/11) and La Liga (2018/19).
- Boateng played 11 games under Jurgen Klopp, who he will face in the Champions League semi-finals, during a brief stay at Borussia Dortmund in 2008/09.
Now entering his twilight years, Boateng has reflected on the journey that has taken him from Hertha Berlin to Barça.
During a near 15-year playing career the Berliner has represented some of Europe’s biggest clubs such as AC Milan and Borussia Dortmund, where he played under Massimiliano Allegri and Klopp respectively.
Having played in each of Europe’s top-four leagues, Boateng is one of just eight players to have scored a goal in all of those competitions. He sits alongside Florin Răducioiu, Gheorghe Popescu, Jon Dahl Tomasson, Pierre Womé, Obafemi Martins, Bojan Krkić and Jonathan de Guzmán.
However, Boateng feels if he looked at the bigger picture during his teenage years then he wouldn’t have embarked on the journeyman career he’s been on, instead a 10-year stay at Real Madrid or Manchester United could have been on the cards.
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“Mentality is crucial. I started too late to really think about [my career]. Of course I regret that,” he told Goal and DAZN.
“As an 18-year-old, I would have needed an agent or a family to push me in the right direction. I would have liked that. But I had to fix everything myself.
“I know very well that I have also failed with my motivation, which has not always been 100 per cent there.
“If I would have had the absolute will, I would have been a starting XI player at Barcelona or would have played 10 years for Real Madrid or Manchester United.”
Barça’s latest treble quest
Since the inception of the European Cup only seven clubs have managed to complete their domestic double as well as lifting UEFA’s grandest prize. However, just one club has managed it twice; Barcelona in 2009 and 2015.
Ernesto Valverde’s men are looking to do so again, having recently wrapped up La Liga title with a Copa del Rey date with Valencia to come. Standing in their way regarding the Champions League is a Liverpool side determined to make up for last season’s final loss at the hands of Real Madrid.
Barça, though, aren’t the only club left in this season’s competition with treble ambitions. Ajax, playing their first semi-final since 1997, are leading their championship at home (albeit on goal-difference) and have a Dutch Cup final date with Willem II.