Kevin-Prince Boateng is eager to “take on responsibility and pass on my experience” to a young Fiorentina side, but doesn’t regret his Barcelona spell.
The Ghana international spent the last six months on loan at Barcelona, but Sassuolo sold him to the Viola for just €1m.
“I was happy at Sassuolo in those first six months. I have to thank Fiorentina, as it’s not easy to believe in someone who basically hasn’t played in the last six months,” said the 32-year-old in his Press conference.
“It was a lovely experience in Barcelona, working with the best in the world, but it wasn’t very satisfying. At my age, it was worth it, as at least I can say that I played at Camp Nou alongside Lionel Messi.
“(Fiorentina director Daniele) Pradè convinced me to come here by calling several times in one day. I liked that attitude. There are a lot of young players to help here and that’s further motivation for me. I don’t have many years left to play, but I think I still have something to give and want to give my kids the joy of watching me play.
“There were clubs interested in Germany, but I made this choice also for my family. I love Italy, I love food and there’s the best food in Italy!”
Boateng is taking the Number 10 jersey, suggesting a more attacking role than perhaps he had towards the start of his career.
“I know the greatest players wore this in Florence, but I took the 10 because I have come here to do great things, not just to have fun.
“I have always enjoyed myself in attack, whether as a trequartista, on the wing or a centre-forward. I think it’s good for a Coach to have a player who can take on many different roles.
“As time wore on, I realised what it means to be a professional. I was pretty crazy when I was young, going around partying. I certainly don’t do that now. Young players should enjoy themselves, but within the right limits.”
Boateng’s strike partner is likely to be Federico Chiesa, assuming of course Fiorentina manage to resist Juventus offers.
“Everyone said Chiesa was really talented and seeing him as an opponent, you might not realise quite how strong he is. When you’re in training with him, I have to say, he’s pretty unstoppable. We get along well both on and off the field.
“Dusan Vlahovic is very talented indeed and reminds me of Zlatan Ibrahimovic. I don’t think he realises how good he is and I want him to believe in himself, because he can change games.
“If there’s something I do not lack, it’s character. I want to take on as much responsibility as possible, so I can take the pressure off the others. I’ve done a lot in my life that I’m not proud of, but I’m more mature now and can pass on my experience.”
Image credit: @acffiorentina Twitter