Throughout the years, Ghana has developed some of football’s most famous talents. From two-time Premier League winner Michael Essien to Asamoah Gyan, Kwadwo Asamoah, Thomas Partey, and Tony Yeboah, the African country has long been the home to numerous top-flight footballers.
However, for all his talent, Kevin-Prince Boateng will go down as one of Ghanaian football’s most unfulfilled prospects. So, let’s take a look at the 33-year-old's career and consider what could have been.
A Trophy-Winning Career Lacking Stability
Along with his brother, Jerome, the Boateng siblings have won almost everything in world football between them. However, unlike the Champions League-winning defender, the 33-year-old playmaker may look back on his career with regret.
To date, over the course of his 16-year professional career, Boateng has played for 12 different teams. While this isn’t necessarily a negative, it does indicate that the West Berlin-born midfielder struggled to assert himself at any club for a prolonged period.
In Boateng’s defense, he has won both the La Liga and Serie A titles during his career. On reflection, the 33-year-old will likely be remembered for his contributions at AC Milan between 2010 and 2013.
Including his six-month return to the San Siro in January 2016, Boateng scored 18 goals in 114 appearances for Rossoneri, according to Transfermarkt. Moreover, the Ghanaian also provided 16 assists across his 7,293 minutes for Milan.
Following his spell in Italy, Boateng would move on to play for Las Palmas, Eintracht Frankfurt, and Sassuolo. In 2019, however, he would complete one of football’s strangest moves, joining Barcelona on loan in January 2019.
This transfer saw the now 33-year-old become the first Ghanaian to play for the Catalan club. Moreover, he was also part of the Barca squad that last won La Liga. Having lost the title last season, Ronald Koeman’s team are now priced at 7/4 in the football betting to win the Spanish league in 2020-21.
The Ability to be One of the Era’s Best
In Massimiliano Allegri’s Milan side, Boateng was able to hit the heights alongside names such as Alexandre Pato, Robinho, Thiago Silva, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Perhaps most memorably, Rossoneri supporters will look back on the Ghanaian’s audacious solo goal against Barcelona in the 2011/12 Champions League campaign.
The goal showcased the undeniable talent that Boateng possessed. At his peak, he had all of the attributes needed to be one of the world’s best midfielders. With pace, passing, power, shooting, and speed, there was very little that Boateng couldn’t do in Allegri’s Milan team.
Sadly for Boateng, his stint at the San Siro saw the start of his injury problems, many of which were muscular issues. This misfortune continued when he made the move to Schalke, before later impacting his playing time at both Las Palmas and Sassuolo.
Aside from injuries, Boateng himself puts his unique career path down to a lack of effort, as per the official Bundesliga website. The 33-year-old believes that he could have played for Real Madrid, but his application hindered his progress.
A Career Littered with “What Ifs”
Ultimately, regardless of his troubled career, Boateng will go down as one of the most talented players of the last decade. While individual and team accolades may not support this, few players have possessed his world-class abilities in recent years.
As hindsight will usually always result in questions, especially surrounding the 33-year-old's career, it mustn’t be forgotten that he’s a two-time league winner and one of the era’s most entertaining playmakers.