Kevin-Prince Boateng is unquestionably a colourful character with an interesting career. Hailing from a working class neighbourhood in Berlin, he had stints at Hertha Berlin, Tottenham Hotspur, Borussia Dortmund and Portsmouth FC before arriving at AC Milan, where he shone between 2010 and 2013 and won the Scudetto in 2011.
The half-brother of FIFA World Cup winner Jerome Boateng opted to represent Ghana at international level. He scored a memorable goal in his side’s 2-1 extra-time victory over USA in the Round of 16 at South Africa 2010, finding the net after just five minutes with a low shot following a dynamic solo run.
The 30-year-old, who now turns out for Bundesliga outfit Eintracht Frankfurt, scored an even better goal on 23 October 2016 for former club Las Palmas in a league fixture against Villareal. His effort made headlines at the time and has now earned him a nomination for the FIFA Puskás Award 2017.A dinked pass from the edge of the area found Las Palmas attacker Tana inside the box with his back to goal. His acrobatic back-heel flicked the ball towards the penalty spot, where Boateng darted in and volleyed an unstoppable sideways scissor kick into the net. His strike put Las Palmas 1-0 up after half an hour, although they went on to lose the game 2-1.
Boateng was subsequently eager to be nominated for the FIFA Puskás Award. “I thought I was going to the FIFA Gala,” he said. “It was going to be the best day of my life after my kids’ birth. I always said I wanted to go. I felt if you go there, you’ve made it. You’re one of the best. I thought they’d call me because I got so many messages and tweets.
“I even told my wife: ‘We’re going to Zurich.'” Boateng continued. “She asked me a week afterwards: ‘What happened to Zurich?’ I said: ‘Oh, forget about it. I’ll have to score another one.'” What Boateng did not realise was that his goal was scored outside of the timeframe to be considered for the 2016 prize – but that it did qualify for the 2017 edition. And now he has duly been nominated.
Boateng will not be travelling to Zurich this year either, as The Best FIFA Football Awards Show will take place in London on 23 October. Yet you, the fans, can decide whether Boateng can fulfil his dream of going to the ceremony as one of the three Puskás Awards finalists.