Sports

Soccer: The story of the two Boatengs

By  | 30 July 2010 at 20:39 | 1577 views

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The relationship between brothers is often complicated. And it gets even more complex if their interests are contrasting.

Jérome Boateng is calm, sometimes even shy. He treats the other person in a conversation with respect and does not want to attract attention – at least off the field.

Jérome played for German football club Hamburger SV and took part at the World Cup in South Africa. He was part of the German team and made five appearances – without attracting big attention. Of course, you would say. For him, it was never a problem as to whether he’s going to play for Germany or Ghana, the hom ecountry of his father.

Jérome grew up in Germany and he never hesitates to mention that he feels German. He made several appearences for German youth national teams. Most of them alongside Kevin-Prince Boateng.

Kevin-Prince (top photo) is his half-brother. He (Kevin) grew up in Berlin alongside Jérome. But Kevin-Prince is different. Not only because of his tattooed body, but a lot more. His behaviour on and off the field is a blatant effort at attracting attention. He’s far from being shy and proudly remembers his youth, which was always in an atmosphere of violence. And so Kevin-Prince does not feel German anymore. Since he himself decided that, there would be no chance for him in the German national team. Because nobody seemed to like him, he decided to play for Ghana, a decision his brother Jérome couldn’t understand, but he (Jerome) accepted it.

Jerome Boateng. He played for Germany in the recent World Cup.

After an average season at Premier League Club Portsmouth FC, which ended with the relegation to the Championship, Kevin-Prince was called up for his first international for Ghana and simultaneously, the World Cup squad. It would have been a nice story of two brothers playing against each other for the first time in a World Cup match if there had not been that last match of Kevin-Prince Boateng with Portsmouth. It was the English cup-final against Chelsea London. Kevin-Prince made a clumsy-looking foul against Michael Ballack. The German team-captain missed the World Cup because of this injury and the German public and media assumed Kevin-Prince intentionally fouled Ballack to get him out of his way in South Africa.

That was to overstate the case, but Kevin-Prince on the other hand did his best to solidify his reputation as bad boy. He claimed that Ballack himself was a foul-player and that Germany was always bad to him(Kevin).

His brother, Jérome, tried to stay diplomatic. He said Kevin-Prince would never do such things intentionally but at the same time he felt awkward, when he met Ballack. Kevin-Prince was upset about that. He told the media that he was disappointed by his brother and that he thinks that they should end all contacts.

Jérome did not react to that although he admits that they had been drifting apart for quite a long time. When they met on the field at the final group stage, there was no conversation between the brothers. The atmosphere was cold. Both of them did better than expected however. Kevin-Prince was one of Ghana’s key players and Jérome became a starter in the ambitious German team, but there weren’t two "Boateng" logos on the back of their jerseys. There was a "Boateng" and a "Prince". It would have been a really great family story. But it became a sad story. And there is no turning point in sight.

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