Kevin Prince-Boateng has admitted he was an “idiot” during a difficult spell with Tottenham earlier in his career.
The German-born midfielder, who represented Ghana at international level, joined Spurs as a young player from Hertha Berlin in 2007. He made just 24 appearances over two seasons – part of one was spent on loan at Borussia Dortmund – before leaving for Portsmouth permanently.
Surprisingly, Boateng went on to play for AC Milan before securing a shock loan move to Barcelona last summer. He has spent time at four other clubs, including his current employers Fiorentina.
Speaking to Italian outlet La Repubblica (as relayed by the Sun), the 32-year-old revealed his many regrets from his time at Tottenham.
“I’ll go back and say: I didn’t treat football as a job,” Boateng said.
“I was an idiot. I had talent, but I trained the bare minimum, an hour on the field.
“I was the last to arrive and the first to leave. I’d be out with friends. I had money, I lived like a king. I’d never been to the gym. That changes your later career.
“I bought three cars in one day when I was at Tottenham: a Lamborghini, a Hummer and a Cadillac. To the youngsters, I tell them: ‘You cannot buy happiness’.
“I didn’t play, I had family problems, I was out of the squad. I was looking for happiness in material things: a car makes you happy for a week. I bought three to be happy for three weeks.”
Boateng was clearly talented but lacked the application to really make it at Spurs. His quotes suggest it was a case of being given too much too young.
It would have been intriguing to see a young Boateng develop under Mauricio Pochettino’s management. The Argentinian is renowned for his ability to get the best out of young players – Boateng would have been an interesting project.
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