Taking time out of his Clasico preparations, Barcelona attacker Kevin-Prince Boateng has revealed how impressed he has been with seeing new teammate Lionel Messi up close.
The Ghana international surprisingly joined the club in January from Serie A side Sassuolo, which has given him a chance to enjoy watching La Pulga in training on a regular basis, something that he is very thankful for.
“I can honestly tell you that playing against Messi is very difficult,” Boateng told La Vanguardia.
“But seeing him now on the field is magical. He can do everything on his own, it is incredible.
“Playing for this team is the most exciting thing that can happen to you and even at my age, although I’m a little old, it is a dream to play here.”
The former AC Milan man also admitted that he didn’t quite take his career as seriously as he should have at the outset but is now fully focused, something that he credits with the birth of his son.
“When I was young, I was crazy. At 18 years old, I thought I was the boss in my neighbourhood because I had money,” he revealed.
“Then I had a child and it made me mature and without that happening, I wouldn’t have played for teams like Milan or Barcelona.
“I now weigh 83 kilos but there was a point when I was 95. In London, I was 20 years old and you go out partying and eat badly.
“When you’re young, if you don’t play you don’t really care because you have money and your friends all tell you that you are a phenomenon.”
Boateng also insisted that when it comes to battling racism, something he has suffered and which led to him walking off a field in Italy in 2013, he is ready for the challenge.
“I am very clear about this. If it happens to me, I’ll walk off and go my home and ask my team to accompany me,” he concluded.
“It is a problem of the clubs and leagues, but also for society.”