Schalke 04 midfielder Kevin Prince-Boateng has finally responded to long-standing criticism over his commitment to playing for the Ghanaian national side.
Boateng has long been accused of being an “opportunist” when called up to play for his national side, with many fans being of the opinion that he picks which matches to represent Ghana in, and only wants to play in the World Cup “to market himself” to Europe’s big clubs.
The midfielder has yet to play for the Black Stars since renouncing his decision to retire from international football in November 2011 as he always picked up suspiciously coincidental injuries playing for Schalke every time he was called up for international duty.
For example, he missed Ghana’s final 2-1 win over former African champions Zambia in Accra with persistent knee trouble, but was fit enough to play (and score) for his club Schalke in a 1-0 win over Mainz 05 just a week later.
The former German youth player again sustained injury with another international break looming soon thereafter, picking up a bruised knee in Schalke’s 4-1 win over Augsburg in the Bundesliga just two days before he was to report to Ghana’s training camp in Accra.
He subsequently sat out Ghana’s 6-1 victory in the first leg of their World Cup qualifying double-header against Egypt, but curiously recovered in time to play a part in Schalke’s 3-0 defeat at the hand of Premier League giants Chelsea.
Boateng, who chose to play for his motherland Ghana prior to the 2010 World Cup, has reportedly been handed an ultimatum by the Black Stars management committee member Yaw Boateng Gyan.
“There is no such player only cut for qualification and others only for tournaments. It is a collective effort and therefore if he keeps turning down invites to play with the other players during the qualification series including this last match (against Egypt) then I think that will be it… if he keeps up with this attitude of not turning up for games then he better count himself out of the World Cup.”
After weeks of such speculation however, Boateng himself has spoken out and speaking to BBC he insisted that his absence from the national side is purely due to injury.
“Of course it’s a bad situation because every time there is a national team game I have a problem. I can’t come if I’m injured. I want to be 100%; I want to give everything when I come to play for Ghana. I’m always happy when I’m called to play for the Black Stars, that’s why I’m here.”
Boateng has been named in the side that will take on Egypt in Cairo on Tuesday, and he hopes to play a part as Ghana seek to confirm qualification into the World Cup finals in Brazil.
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