Kevin Prince Boateng was one of the surprise signings for Barcelona in early 2019 when the club desperately required a player in the attacking department.
The former Borussia Dortmund and Schalke starlet joined Barça on a six-month loan deal, featuring in just four matches.
Safe to say, KBP’s spell at Camp Nou did not as planned, with the player leaving Barcelona at the end of the corresponding season.
Now retired, Boateng recently appeared in Rio Ferdinand’s podcast, where he claimed that he was forced to call Lionel Messi as the best player in the world.
Boateng on Barcelona forcing him to hail Messi
“I remember that when I arrived at Barcelona They immediately asked me who the best player in the world was. I had to say it was Lionel Messi, I lied. It was one of the biggest lies of my life,” he said (h/t Diario AS)
“Normally I always tell the truth, but I lied because it was the only way to wear the Barcelona shirt,” he added.
Boateng, who had vast experience at the highest level of football, has always been a flavourful character known to switch between rival clubs quite easily.
During the course of his career, Boateng had played for both Schalke and Dortmund, along with Sassuolo, AC Milan and Fiorentina.
Going on about his experience at Barcelona, Boateng added, “I’m sorry for the Barça fans, but I always supported Real Madrid when I was a teenager. I love Cristiano Ronaldo. But they told me that I had to say that otherwise, I wouldn’t play.”
Boateng on Messi
Kevin Prince Boateng went on to speak about Lionel Messi and how he was as a teammate during his time at Barcelona.
“Messi was the captain, but he didn’t talk much in the locker room. We spoke once in the showers and he asked me if it was difficult to score goals in Italy because Ronaldo was there at the time,” he said.
Ronaldo was indeed playing for Juventus when Boateng joined Barcelona. However, both he and Messi continued to hold a fierce rivalry at the time.
Messi, though, pipped his great Portuguese counterpart in the years ahead, winning the 2019 and 2020 Ballon d’Or.
The Argentine is in contention to win the 2023 Ballon d’or as well, though he faces great competition from Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe.