Boateng: "Motivated, mature and wearing No.10"



Kevin-Prince Boateng and sporting director Daniele Prade set out the reasons why the 30-year-old former Ghana international has joined Fiorentina at a media conference on Tuesday.

“Everything about Kevin-Prince Boateng is beautiful so he's the perfect fit for Florence.” Prade began. He's a great player and he's matured a lot now too. I've liked him as a player for ages but I had my doubts at times in the past – not anymore. He's very versatile: he can play up front, at full-back, even in goal!”

Boateng explained: “Regardless of my age I'm still very motivated. When I got the call from Prade and he asked me to join him here I made up my mind on the spot. I like that sort of thing. I want to help a young squad, keep improving myself and play well because my family are watching and I don't want to look bad.”

What was the best period of your career position-wise? And where will you play here at Fiorentina?

“I've always loved playing close to the goal, either as a wide forward or at centre forward. I like scoring and providing assists. I think that's what the coach and club have in mind for me but at the end of the day it's up to the coach to decide where I play.”

You said you want to do something good before the end of your career. How do you feel now after your time at Barcelona and Sassuolo?

“The first six months at Sassuolo went really well. I'd have liked to have done better at Barcelona but I learnt so much from the experience and it improved me. I want to thank Fiorentina, Prade, Joe Barone for believing in me. I want to enjoy myself and I want others to enjoy watching. My hope is that the fans will feel excited when they watch Fiorentina play.”

What plans did the club lay out to you?

“The plan is to build a team that works together to develop young players and to win something. That's why the club are bringing in a few experienced heads. I understand some fans may have their doubts about me because I've played for lots of different clubs but I must say they gave me a great welcome right from the start in Montecatini.”

Did you choose Florence for personal reasons?

“I had an offer from Germany, then I was contacted by president Commisso, Joe Barone and Prade. Their words convinced me. I'm back in Italy for family reasons too. Plus I'm told the food is great in Florence.”

You've played with some world-class players in the past. What's your opinion of Federico Chiesa?

“He's been very open and welcoming to me. I knew he was good but now that I've seen him in training I realise just how good he is. I don't know who can stop him. If he trains the right way, he'll become a world-beater. I can't wait to play with him. I'm happy he's stayed in Florence.”

What shirt number will you wear at Fiorentina?

“No.10. I know it carries a lot of weight at this club but I take my job seriously and it's another reason for me to always give 100%. I've been told that wearing No.10 comes with a lot of responsibility. I'm ready for that.”

How was Barcelona?

“I got a lot out of the experience. Training and playing alongside top players is fantastic. I was a bit sad when I left because I wanted to do better there but there are lots of positives too. They're the best.”

What did you think of Fiorentina last year and what can you bring to this team?

“I think one thing I'm not short on is confidence. Clearly there were some difficulties here last term but we're looking forwards, not back. We want to be successful and play with no hang-ups. I can't wait to start.”

You'll be playing alongside a promising striker like Dusan Vlahovic…

“He's another really good player. He does things not many players can do. He's got every chance of developing into excellent player. His movement reminds me of [Zlatan] Ibrahimovic. I'd like to help  him convince himself that he can become an exceptional player already this season. I'll be watching him closely.”

Pol Lirola has joined Fiorentina from Sassuolo like yourself. What sort of player is he?

“He's learnt a lot since I first saw him at Sassuolo. He's very fast now too. He's without doubt one of the best full-backs around and an important player for this team.”

Prade said you've matured a lot. In what ways?

“I've grown up. If at the age of 30 you're still doing the stupid things you did as a youngster then you shouldn't be doing this job. I was a bit crazy as a kid. I've learnt from it though and now I have the right mentality to know how and when to do things.”

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