AC Milan midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng has admitted for the first time that playing for Ghana three years ago catapulted him to greatness in the face of his flagging career.
The 26-year-old, who plays for the Italian giants, snubbed Ghana just one year after playing for the West African country helped him to secure the big-money move to Milan.
Boateng switched nationality to play for the country of his father at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa at a time his career was going nowhere with relegated English side Portsmouth.
The midfielder was on the verge of being relegated to the obscurity of the English second tier which could have ended his dreams of playing top-class football.
However, showing with the Black Stars in South Africa secured him the move to AC Milan but one year later he angered Ghanaians by quitting the national team with a flimsy excuse.
Since then he has refused to comment on the role Ghana played in helping him get the move to AC Milan but for the first time he has admitted his association with the Black Stars three years ago made his a world class player.
“Only three years ago I realised what I am capable of and what level I could reach,” Boateng conceded and revealed that he didn’t have any focus before he played for Ghana.
“Beforehand I was only a football player, I loved to play football but I was a child, I was young and I did many things you shouldn’t do. So what could I say to a young player? It is difficult.
“If you are thrown into a pool full of money and you are playing in front of 80,000 people, it isn’t easy, it wasn’t easy for me. It was difficult.
“The only thing I can recommend is to keep your feet on the ground and keep working hard. That is the most important thing.”
Boateng’s decision to retire from the Black Stars generated anger with many accusing him of being opportunistic by using and dumping the national team.
The Ghana international is enjoying a purple patch, having scored twice in his past three matches – including the crucial first goal in their round-of-16 first-leg victory over Barcelona in the Champions League.
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