Tuesday Apr 14, 2020. 16:00
Ghana international Kevin-Prince Boateng’s self-confidence set him apart from his teammates at Schalke 04.
This is according to former Schalke assistant coach Sven Hubscher, who worked with the attacking midfielder between 2013 and 2015 at the German Bundesliga club.
“He was enormously confident, but also open, polite and reserved. He expresses his opinion when he thinks it is necessary, but always keeps his decency,” Hubscher told Goal and SPOX.
“Back then, we used it as the cornerstone on which our many young players could find direction in for themselves. We talked about him for the first time at a training camp in Doha. When it turned out that there was an opportunity to sign him, [Schalke coach] Jens Keller called him.
“Boateng just said: ‘Coach, put the No.9 shirt aside, we’ll rock this thing’. He was exactly the experienced player we needed. I still remember his first game against Leverkusen in front of a home crowd.”
“He was playing at No.6 at the time. In one situation, Max Meyer did not pass to him, but played a pass out wide,” he continued.
“Since the situation was near the dugout, it was very easy to hear him (Boateng) shouting: ‘Max, play me over. Max! Max!’ Meyer just replied that Boateng had been covered.
“He replied: ‘I don’t give a sh*t, play me over’. We missed having such a player like that before.”
The Dortmund-born tactician went on to reveal that Boateng left the Royal Blues because of fitness issues.
“It wasn’t for a personality reason, we simply could not get his susceptibility to injury under control,” he said.
“He was no longer as efficient as we were, and he too would have wished for it to be the case, because even under Roberto Di Matteo, whom he always addressed as Mister, he was an important personality.”
“His self-confidence. He didn’t care whether we played against Leverkusen or Bayern Munich,” he added.
“He didn’t give a sh*t. He simply had this self-image that everyone has to be guided by. This helped our entire team at this point. And, of course, he could also play very well.”
Boateng, who is currently with Turkish giants Besiktas, left Schalke having featured in 46 Bundesliga games and scored six goals.