I type "Kevin Prince Boateng" into YouTube and allow myself to miss the days when he took fans to a place of magic and wonder. With a little bit more edge the 2010-2012 AC Milan side could've reached the very top of European football, and Prince-Boateng's career may have looked very different.
In many people’s eyes he’s just Jérôme’s older, less succesful brother. Be that as it may, he often doesn’t get the recognition that he deserves. Because when he was at his best, he was one of the most enjoyable players in the world to watch. He was truly magnificent during his prime. In that incredibly talented Milan side he stood out where it shouldn't have been possible: with characters such as Andrea Pirlo, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Alexandre Pato it should be hard for other players to make a mark as individuals. Prince-Boateng, however, did just that. He had an incredible season in the 2010/2011 edition of Serie A, which earned himself a place in the Serie A Team of The Year alongside players like Marek Hamsik, Claudio Marchisio and Thiago Motta.
I specifically remember a goal he scored in February 2012. San Siro, quarter finals of the Champions League. The opponents? Barcelona. Prince-Boateng got the ball outside the penalty area and Ronaldo-chopped the ball past Éric Abidal, probably one of the best wingbacks in the world at the time, found a space at the front post and finished it past Victor Valdes. To score a goal like that against the Catalans shows just exactly how good he was at his peak.
But that magnificent Milan team split during 2012 and 2013 due to financial difficulties within the Italian club, and players left for better things. Prince-Boateng made a wise club choice and moved back to his home country. Gelsenkirschen and Schalke 04 was going to be the place he’d return to his fantastic form. But the time in Germany didn’t turn out as I, or I assume he, had hoped, and after a game at the end of the 2014/2015 season he was suspended alongside two team mates due to bad behaviour and had his contract terminated later that year.
Now, however, he seems to have found his place at the, so far this season, very successful Las Palmas, at the moment placed 7th in La Liga. Under manager Quique Setién, Prince-Boateng looks like he’s enjoying his time on the pitch again and has started the season brilliantly. With a fantastic debut goal at the Mestalla he has shown what he wants to do this season, and that he can take a new, exciting step in his career. Alongside incredibly talented players such as Javi Varas, Mauricio Lemos and Sergio Araujo I’m hoping he, once again, can reach his full potential. Because it’s certainly in there somewhere.
Daniel is one of our three Spanish experts and can be found on twitter at @DanneIngvarsson