Schalke sign Kevin-Prince Boateng
On Wednesday Kevin-Prince Boateng scored twice to fire AC Milan into the Champions League – but it is Schalke who he will play for in European football’s flagship competition.The 26-year-old midfielder has put his signature on a four-year deal that ties him to the Royal Blues until 30 June 2017. Boateng will wear the No9 shirt and may well make his Bundesliga debut in Saturday’s home game against Bayer Leverkusen.“We’re very happy to have signed him because we’ve worked very hard in the last few days and weeks to that end. It was easy to persuade Kevin to sign for us,” said Schalke director of sport Horst Heldt. “Persuading AC Milan was more difficult because Kevin did well there and was a crowd favourite. He has tremendous leadership qualities and we hope our future with him will be a successful one.”Boateng also expressed his excitement over the deal, saying: “I’m simply happy to be able to play for a such a top club as FC Schalke 04. It’s a new challenge for me.”Boateng was born in West Berlin, as it was then, on 6 March 1987. The Ghana international began his playing career in 1994 at Hertha BSC, where he stayed until 2007 apart from a 12-month spell at Füchse Berlin Reinickendorf in 1995/1996.Boateng then switched to Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League and in the second half of the 2008/2009 season joined Borussia Dortmund on loan. He spent the following season at Portsmouth before moving to Serie A outfit AC Milan. Boateng has made a total of 52 Bundesliga appearances (4 goals) to date for Hertha BSC (42/4) and Borussia Dortmund (10/0). He has played six times in the DFB Cup and also made six UEFA Cup appearances for Hertha. The 26-year-old played for all of Germany’s youth teams with the exception of the Under-18s, which he bypassed. He played six times for Germany’s Under-21 side before opting to play his international football for Ghana in 2010.Boateng has made nine senior appearances for the Black Stars to date (1 goal). At the 2010 World Cup in South Africa he came up against his half-brother Jerome, who currently plays for Bayern Munich, in the game against Germany.