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Source: schalke04.de
Farewell, Prince Boateng
Will Milan's tifosi miss him?
Milan sold the German-Ghanese to Schalke04 for €12M. Supporters will miss above all his girlfriend Melissa Satta Verona: a cursed city for Milan
by Sebastiano Sali
‘The Prince is gone. Long live the Prince!’. The paraphrases may be a bit too dramatic, but mostly there is not much mourning amongst AC Milan supporters for Kevin Prince Boateng’s sudden and unexpected departure. The only complaints we could read on fans Facebook groups and website are for Boateng’s girlfriend, the Sun-page-3-like showgirl Melissa Satta, who will no longer be on San Siro’s scene. And for the missing opportunity of seeing her in a formidable couple with the other and unwanted mysterious object of AC Milan’s summer transfer market, former Juventus’ striker Alessandro Matri’s girlfriend, Federica Nargi.

Should we talk about football rather than wags, The Prince arrived with much surprise from Portsmouth three years ago. Back then, nobody was expecting a champion, also because he was signed by Genoa and then turned on loan to AC Milan. But suddenly he became the crowd’s idol: for his tattoos, for his physical football and, after all, for his surprisingly excellent performances on the field. His contribution was crucial to win the first Scudetto of Allegri’s Milan in 2010/11 and the celebrative Moonwalk dance in Michael Jackson fashion he made in front of 80.000 people at the Meazza stadium sanctified him as a star and as fans’ favourite.

The following season was stingy of results for AC, but The Prince scored two of his most beautiful goals AC’s supporters will remember him forever. Both in Champions League. The first, on November 25th 2011, Milan-Barcellona 2-3, pool stage: a mixture of skill, power, agility and rage! Wonderful. The second, on February the 15th 2012, Milan-Arsenal 4-0, first round knockout: a thunderbolt volley that enchanted the Meazza once again. For the second leg match a supporter sitting next to me at the Emirates in London was holding a banner saying ‘Better our Prince than your Queen’ (I didn’t ask whether he was referring to Her Majesty or rather to the famous rock band - but it doesn’t matter). Anyway, despite AC didn’t win anything that year, favoured by the departure of many senators and crowd’s favourite such as Pirlo, Gattuso, Nesta, Ronaldinho in the previous season (2010/11), followed by those dramatic of Thiago Silva, Ibrahimovic, Seedorf and Cassano at the end of that season (2011/12), Kevin became The Prince, the real deal and at the same time the deal breaker.

His love affair with the starlette Melissa Satta (and you know how important starlette are in Italian affairs, at every level), made him an even more fashionable guy, main character in the sport newspapers as well as in the glossy magazines. On top of that, he was recently the object of racist booing during a friendly match (Milan-Pro Patria, 5/6/2013) which gained him even more people’s sympathy: his reaction, kicking the ball against the racist supporters in the standings and then abandoning the field super mad, was condemned by most of football professionals but justified but many fans and people. This event brought Boateng to be one of the guest speakers at the United Nations, for the celebrations of the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination on March 21 2013. Rumours even spoke of an affair with the UNICEF ambassador Angelina Jolie.

But, as you can see, lately talks around Boateng were more for what he did and said off the pitch rather than on. The last 2012/13 season, in an AC Milan impoverished of all his champions, The Prince was not royal enough to make the crowd forget about Zlatan and Thiago. AC grabbed a final 3rd spot in the Serie A by the hair, making it through the Champions League playoff right at the last match of the season. Boateng made 29 appearances but scored only twice, for everyone’s disappointment. He was not decisive in in the Serie A and yet he had his moment in the most crucial weeks of the season: the Champions League first round knockout against Barcelona, when Milan defeated 2-0 Messi and his Invincible Armada. Nonetheless, the second leg was a debacle (4-0 Barcelona), nobody was spared in AC’s ranks, and most certainly not Boateng, probably the biggest disappointment of the match.

Thus, with no surprise the 2013 summer transfer market opened with rumours of the club thinking about letting Boateng go. AC’s CEO and Berlusconi’s best man Adriano Galliani admitted though that he had received no offers for him, and thus he was supposed to remain. Nobody amongst the fans was reinvigorated by this statement especially because if Boateng had left rumours has it that the young and very talented Serbian Adem Ljajic from Fiorentina would have replaced him. Nothing happened throughout the whole summer, and AC Milan supporters seemed resigned to have Il Boa in the squad once again. He confirmed crowd’s worries during the first leg of the Champions League qualifier against PSV Endhoven, being heavily criticised for his disappointing performance.

He did even worse in Verona (to be fair with him though, the whole team sucked!). But then, there it came the rebirth in an Italian late summer night in the Meazza stadium: two goals against the PSV that overshadowed also the superstar Balotelli and AC again amongst the elite of European football. The real deal is back. The Champions League-format Boateng is back. The re-birth of a star. But it lasted only one night. Like all mid/late-summer dream. Now it will be on Schalke 04 supporters to see whether it was a comet or a meteor.

Monday, September 2 nd, 2013
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