ROME, August 19 – Controversial Ghana midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng says his move to seven-time European champions AC Milan, on loan from Genoa, is a dream come true.The move capped a remarkable rise for the 23-year-old German-born player, who only a year ago was not good enough for Tottenham and sold to Portsmouth, who went on to finish bottom of the Premier League.
But after playing a pivotal role in Ghana’s historic march to the World Cup quarter-finals in South Africa, Boateng has secured a move to one of the biggest clubs on the planet.
"Playing for this club was a dream and now it’s become real. I wanted to come to Milan with all my desire," Boateng told Thursday’s La Gazzetta dello Sport.
"I know the club’s history and hence I know that I’ve come to the best club in the world. Milan is first, above both Real Madrid and Barcelona."
Boateng’s move to Milan was the subject of some confusion, since the club did not have the money to buy him outright.
Instead, Genoa paid Portsmouth 6.5 million euros for his services and loaned him immediately to their Serie A rivals.
Provided he is a success in Milan, the club will then buy him in a year’s time, at a healthy profit for Genoa, once they have shed some hefty contracts from their books.
Now that he is playing for one of the most high-profile clubs in one of the world’s toughest leagues, Boateng will find himself even more in the spotlight, but he insists he has nothing to fear, despite his reputation for trouble.
He has a Ghanaian father and German mother but elected to play for Ghana, despite representing Germany at all youth levels, after falling out with the German Federation.
"I’m a normal 23-year-old lad who loves playing with a ball. I know I’ve got a reputation but I ask just one thing: judge me by what you see on the pitch.
"The past is the past, now I want to do well. Even (Gennaro) Gattuso has a fiery character but he’s a top guy."
Apart from Gattuso, Boateng is particularly looking forward to playing alongside one of his idols.
"In the past they were (Zinedine) Zidane and Rivaldo, now it’s Cristiano Ronaldo and Ronaldinho — I can’t believe I’m going to be his team-mate."