AC Milan midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng told Champions magazine that a tough upbringing and a determined older brother helped him to make his mark as a player.

In this extract from an interview in the latest edition of Champions magazine, AC Milan midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng reflects on his tough upbringing in Berlin and his sporting idols.

What was it like growing up in Berlin?

It's similar to London, to Tottenham, maybe. There are a lot of people out of work and a lot of crime. But everybody has struggles in life and mine was to come out from a tough area of Berlin. It helped me a lot on my way to becoming a professional footballer, to being an idol and a good role model. Even the little kids in Berlin look up to me. This is my mission: to show them that it's possible to come from a tough background and achieve your goals.

Did you always want to be a professional?

Not really. When you're young, you don't think about what you want to be. I was just playing football because I had fun and enjoyed it. When I reached 16, that's when I was dreaming about becoming a footballer.

Who was the biggest influence on you when you were growing up?

There was always football in my family: my dad, big and little brothers, even my mum used to play. The biggest influence was my older brother, who always pushed me very hard – maybe sometimes too hard – because he never made it as a player. He was a big talent. Growing up in this way helped me become a professional footballer.

Who were your football idols?

I've enjoyed watching lot of players, but Pelé was my biggest hero because he was a black person, he scored so many goals and was so incredibly successful. I also liked Rivaldo, because I've always thought I have a similar playing style to him.

Is there anyone you admire outside of football?

My biggest idol is Muhammad Ali, and of course Michael Jordan. There are a lot of sportsmen I respect but those two are incredible.

What are your main hobbies outside football?

Basketball is one of my favourite sports, I love playing it and watching it on TV. And I like to sing and dance.

We have seen you moonwalk in front of thousands of people at last season's Scudetto celebrations. Was Michael Jackson an idol, too?

He was a hero throughout my youth and even now he's in my life every day, because I still listen to his music. For me he's just the best singer, best writer, best dancer: everything. Everyone copies him. There's a bit of Michael Jackson in every singer and writer. When he died, it was a shock for me. He got me through so many difficult times, because his lyrics can help anybody's difficulties. I made a joke in the dressing room about doing the moonwalk if we won the league, and the newspapers picked up on it. But I think it was a good thing to do.

If Milan win Serie A again this season, how do you think you will celebrate?

I'm not promising anything any more! We'll see. First we have to win it – that's the most important thing.




Readers Comment

  • Big E 7 years ago

    Hes rite abt 1 tin thou.. He playz lyk Rivaldo

  • DAN 7 years ago

    PLSE GSN I would want to plead with you to reduce or altogether stop publishing news items about kp.this is because in my opinion it is not news worthy anymore as a result of his betrayal Ghanaians really care less about him

  • maka 7 years ago

    No way....u paa...big E! U no get eyes? What in his play is like Rivaldo's? Did u really watch Rivaldo play?..daaarrrrnnnn!

  • Assisi 7 years ago

    He will comeback to play for us in WC 2004.

  • LOLvFunny 7 years ago

    2004? I am sure you mean 2014 lol

  • Mawuli 7 years ago

    yeah ghanasoccernet, we're tired of KPB this KPB that, he ain't worth our time, and iits upsetting to see u guys still obsessed with him!

  • Ali in nigeria 7 years ago

    Let's 3try 2 4givehim 4he is 50%ghanaian n50%german,how abt welbeck n Mario

  • Gilbert 7 years ago

    leave kp alone.even black ghanaian players say we should give them a break let alone he,born and bred outside.he loves and he is loyal to ghana.

  • Johnny 7 years ago

    I thought you were going to ask him about coming back to play for Ghana!!

  • Agyei sampong 7 years ago

    Why is it that some ghanaians are so arrogant abt boateng?he has made his decision and we must to accept it.

  • joe 7 years ago

    felow ghanaians lets don't 4get dat cheap tins ar costly. Dis guy is good lets do everytin posible 2ve dis guy back 2 bs cos we want quality team dat can win at least a trophy not just a team dat ll go and break our hearts and wasting tax payers money as well

  • Tunji from Nigeria 7 years ago

    Ghanians u have to free this guy he will still play for u he cannot play for Germany again he said he luv pelle because is a black man so that mean he values Africa most is only thinking about the stress d samething happen to victor Moses but he finally play for Nigeria