Schalke midfielder Kevin Prince Boateng has admitted he made mistakes in his time as a Tottenham starlet in London.
Boateng arrived in the English capital when only 20 years old and he was criticised for his lifestyle and also accused his club for not supporting him enough.
The 26-year-old, now at Schalke via Portsmouth and AC Milan, hoped to prove a point to Premier League and Spurs fans as his German club faced Chelsea in the Champions League last night, but the Stamford Bridge side ran out 3-0 winners.
“I think everybody knows I had a difficult time when I arrived here,” said Schalke midfielder Boateng before the match.
“I was young. I had the money. You come here at 20 and have to play for Tottenham, and it wasn't easy for me. I chose the wrong way because I was not experienced enough.
“At Portsmouth I showed what I could do, the kind of football I was capable of. It's good to be back. I love the city of London, I've seen a couple of friends, and I love the football culture.
“It's always nice to be in England. It's the kind of football I love to play. Even playing at Stamford Bridge, it's amazing.
After proving himself, first at Portsmouth and especially at AC Milan, the Ghana international says he could easily have returned to the Premier League in the summer.
“My agent spoke to teams for sure,” Boateng added. “I chose Schalke for a couple of reasons. I wanted to go back home, to be close to my little boy, and it's a great club. There’s a big future in this club with so many young players.
“I’m not the kind of person who goes into the dressing room and says: ‘I’m the Guv’ here.’ But maybe I give off the aura that I’m the kind of person who can be a big player.”
Chelsea are now in pole position to qualify from Champions League group E following their 3-0 victory, as Jose Mourinho's side sit three points clear of second-placed Schalke.
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