The talented midfielder could have become one of the best players of his generation.
When Kevin-Prince Boateng looks into the mirror these days, the first thing he will see is that he never reached his biggest goal. At the age of 21, KPB had a crown tattooed on his neck, referring to the ?Royals? of Real Madrid ? the club he used to love as a child and always wanted to play for.
But unlike his World Cup winning brother Jerome, Kevin never made it to the very top. The Prince has always stayed prince.
In an interview with German newspaper Bild, Horst Hrubesch ? both Kevin-Prince and Jerome Boateng?s former Under-21 coach ? told his views of the Boateng story.
?Jerome has always been the dream of every coach: an ideal football player, one who has always worked hard from the very beginning. Kevin on the other hand has never been easy. He would show two world-class moves in practice, only to stand still when his team was defending. He was edgy and longed for attention ? no easy attributes for a squad to deal with.?
At Schalke, those responsible could not do it anymore and suspended their top earner. Just like Ghana did during the World Cup. On the TV show Audi Star Talk, Schalke boss Clemens T?nnies said: ?We always looked at Prince as our lighthouse, but at some point he just stopped turning the lights on. He didn?t help the team anymore, but dragged it down instead.?
Unlike his brother, Kevin-Prince has never reached the very top of the world, no matter if he played for Hertha BSC Berlin, Tottenham Hotspur, Borussia Dortmund, Portsmouth FC, AC Milan or Schalke 04. Hrubesch to Bild: ?I?ve never had any doubts that Jerome would just march through to the small circle of the world?s elite players. What ever happened to Kevin is a pity. I like guys like him. I?ve always been enthusiastic about his confidence. I used to be the complete opposite when I was a player.?
An anecdote from an Under-21 practice session years ago illustrates what he means. After practice, Hrubesch took KPB aside and told him that he wasn?t the greatest player around and that there was somebody who was even better than him. Kevin-Prince laughed and answered: ?That?s not possible, coach. Who?s that?? Hrubesch answered: ?It?s your brother Jerome, Kevin. He?s even better than you!?
Back then, Kevin laughed about it. He might have even considered a personal offence. And maybe that is what he thinks about his suspension at Schalke as well.
An honest look at the crown in the mirror might be the best thing he could do at the moment.