Everyone knows someone like Kevin-Prince Boateng.
These people don’t necessarily try harder than you in life, yet they can’t take a single step without stumbling upon success.
These people win £50 on scratchcards. These people leave for a night out with £5 and an Oyster card and return with a new job and a phone number. These are life’s punchers. King of the punchers is Prince Boateng, also known as Barcelona’s latest signing.
In an interview with The Guardian, Boateng described his lifestyle after leaving Hertha Berlin and moving to Spurs as a 20-year-old in 2007.
Boateng explained: “I looked old. Every night I was out until six. I was like 95 kilos, swollen from the drinking and bad food. I was spending serious amounts: nightclubs, clothes cars.”
Let’s be honest, if you became a multi-millionaire overnight you’d give yourself a couple of weeks to live in the fast lane before the crippling demons of hangxiety caught up with you.
Fourteen average Spurs appearances would be enough to see most people confined to the rubbish heap, but not KPB. He is, after all, a puncher.
Far from ending his professional football career, Boateng was only just getting started.
Three years after arriving in London, Boateng inexplicably played a key role in AC Milan’s 2010/11 Serie A title success, having reignited his career at Portsmouth under another of life’s great punchers, Harry Redknapp.
From rotting in Spurs’ reserves, Boateng found himself partnering Alessandro Nesta, Clarence Seedorf, Thiago Silva, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Andrea Pirlo, Filippo Inzaghi, Gianluca Zambrotta, Mark van Bommel, Ronaldinho, Robinho and Gennaro Gattuso.
If you’re wondering why Barcelona are suddenly so keen to sign Boateng, it might have something to do with 23 November 2011.
Boateng put Barcelona to the sword with a goal reminiscent of one of those old Karate films in which everyone is constantly levitating. Eric Abidal hadn’t read the script, because he’s still trying to work out where Boateng went.
Signing Boateng is essentially a cheat code for punching. Schalke finished 3rd in the Bundesliga the season after capturing the Ghana international.
Milan improved on a tenth place finish in Serie A by finishing seventh and reaching the final of the Coppa Italia after re-signing Boateng in 2015.
Two years later, Boateng guided little Las Palmas to 11th, scoring a Puskas Award nominee in the process just because he could. The season after he left, Las Palmas were relegated. Coincidence? Don’t be silly.
Back in Germany, Boateng helped Eintracht Frankfurt finish 8th in the Bundesliga and lift the German Cup.
Sassuolo, Boateng’s current club, are riding high in 12th, comfortably clear of any relegation threat. The 31-year-old has scored five goals in 13 starts. Punchers punch, and Boateng could give Anthony Joshua a good knock.
So is it really any surprise that Boateng is about to end up at Barcelona, where he’ll ride Lionel Messi’s coattails on the way to winning the treble?
Absolutely not. He’ll probably win the lottery tomorrow.
READ MORE FROM THE WORLD OF DREAM TEAM:
- Gonazlo Higuain isn’t the man for big occasions but there won’t be a better January signing
- Diego Simeone’s school of hard knocks can finally unlock the Alvaro Morata enigma
- Remembering Thierry Henry’s record-breaking season of Premier League assists