Monday, 7 November 2011

A look back on the glorious international career of Kevin Prince Boateng (2010-2011)

Alan Shearer.


Retires from International football.

Jamie Carragher.

29 the first time he retired.

Paul Scholes.

29 as well.

Each a great loss to their country.

Each bowing out just a little too early.

However, if any country can cope with the loss of one player, then a country with a pool the size of Englands to choose from can.

I’ve never really had a problem with players retiring from the larger nations, even if the above bowed out prematurely.

There is usually a couple of great young players just behind them bursting to take their place.

Think Michael Owen after Alan with Wayne Rooney not too far behind.

Or else quality established stars that are keeping them out of the first team anyway.

Think John Terry and Rio Ferdinand when Jamie went.

But when a player is retiring from a smaller nation such as Ireland, South Korea or Ghana, it is invariably going to leave a massive hole.

The depth of talent that these lesser nations produce, means they could easily go 10 years without producing a left back that’s better than Championship level.

We have seen such countries produce 4 great strikers and not a centre midfielder in sight.

3 left wingers and no right.

That is why it is paramount that when they do produce a player of quality, the player makes it his prerogative to play as long as he can for his country.

When Paul left England, they brought in Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard.

When Roy Keane left Ireland, it was Steven Reid with Kevin Kilbane.

Cut to this weekends news of Kevin Prince Boateng.

A player who had represented Germany 41 times as a youth team player.

Yet never quite good enough for the senior squad.

And in 2009, things weren’t going well for him at club level either.

He was heading for the Championship with Portsmouth.

However, he also qualified to play for Ghana.

A Ghana side that had reached the upcoming World Cup.

One switch of allegiance later and despite not playing a single World Cup qualifier, he was on the plane to South Africa in 2010.

Making his debut less than a week before the tournament started.

He used Ghana to get into the World Cup shop window and thus secured a move to AC Milan.

Fast forward one year - and only three games outside that month of June - Kevin announces his retirement from international football.

At the age of 24.

Alan had at least amassed 63 caps before he left England prematurely.

Paul had 66.

Ji-Sung Park had 100 caps when he retired from South Korea at the age of 29.

Yet here was Kevin Prince Boateng, not good enough for Germany, giving the chance to play in a World Cup by Ghana, repaying them by retiring after a whole 9 appearances.

A small nation loses one of their stars just short of their participation in the African Nations Cup.

A 6 week disruption he can do without in his Serie ‘A’ career with AC Milan no doubt.

But no hint of loyalty to the country that helped get him to Serie ‘A’ in the first place.

Had done so much for a young 23 year old struggling in a relegation battle to make sure he could represent their country.

And without the depth of pool that an England has to choose from.

Has it really gone so far that players can now ‘use’ countries as well as clubs.

Kevin used an entire nation as a stepping stone.

And didn’t even hang around long enough to say thanks.

Whatever else Alan ‘might’ have achieved on the international stage was unfortunately lost to his early retirement.

But at least he gave a massive amount to his country in the 9 years he did play.

Sadly though, that’s 1 year for every game Kevin had...

1 comment:

  1. how can he play 41 times for germany and then only play 9 times for ghana. that is a disgrace. if i was from ghana i would be really angry with this guy. hes not even that good. i wouldnt let him play again for ghana if i were them.