Milan midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng has warned young players focusing focusing on the wealth and the fame in the game could have disastrous consequences for their careers after similar mistakes nearly marred his career.
The Ghanaian has advised youngsters that the key to success is focusing on keeping a positive attitude to his football – both on and off the pitch.
Reflecting on his earlier attitudes to professional football on Wednesday, the 26-year-old admitted he made mistakes due to wealth and fame going to his head.
Boateng said he has developed a ‘don’t worry, be happy’ philosophy that helps him keep his performances in perspective.
“I have always said you should laugh now and leave your crying till later. That’s my motto in life, every day you should just laugh because there will always be time for crying later,” he said.
“Well, I can’t honestly say that I get up every morning and just laugh, needless to say there are sometimes things that annoy me, but I just try to look at everything positively and be happy.
“In any case the most important thing of all is to be healthy. Everything else – winning games, playing well, having the best partner in the world, your lad growing up nice and healthy – is a bonus.
“These are all things that make me happy. What’s more, I don’t want to see loads of negative things, and I try to shut out negative thoughts as quickly as possible.”
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.
Boateng has helped Milan into third spot in Serie A, while they are well poised to oust Barcelona from the Champions League in the last-16 ahead of their second leg at Camp Nou on March 12.
Milan are next in action on Friday night, when they visit Genoa in Serie A.