Kevin-Prince Boateng believes he is a “Schalke machine” and has targeted immortality at the club ahead of their derby clash with Borussia Dortmund.
Boateng, 26, joined Schalke from AC Milan during the dying days of the summer transfer period. His multi-million transfer was one of the biggest moves in Germany this summer.
The Berlin-born Ghana international not only became an instant hit with the Schalke fans, despite having played 10 Bundesliga games for Borussia Dortmund while on loan from Tottenham in the 2008-2009 Bundesliga season, but also has become the leader of Schalke’s highly talented, but still very young midfield.
At the weekend, he will take part in one of Europe’s biggest derbies — theRevierderby between Schalke and Dortmund. “You have the chance to become immortal in this game,” Boateng told Sport Bild.
“That’s an incentive for me. I played the derby in Milan. But as a footballer born in Germany this is the big game. Everything is at stake.”
Boateng returned to the Schalke team in the Royal Blues’ unsuccessful attempt to all but secure passage to the knockout stages of the Champions League against Chelsea on Tuesday night. Ongoing knee problems ruled out the midfielder for their last Bundesliga game — a 3-2 victory at Eintracht Braunschweig.
“I don’t get the hype about my knee,” Boateng said as he played down the problems which had led to discussions about whether Schalke had bought a soon to become ex-footballer.
“There have been a few minor difficulties in the past few weeks, and yet I fought my way through for Schalke. Schalke is the coolest club there is. For those fans I’ll give it my all until I am no longer able to stand,” Boateng added.
Earlier this summer, Boateng said that Dortmund will always remain in his heart and that he could not rule out a return. He then, of course, decided to join their fierce rivals.
“I am a Schalke guy now. Schalke is my new love. The contact with the fans is more intense. I love that,” he said. “They live and breathe the club. The club fuels me with energy. I want to come out on top for Schalke. Footballers are machines, we need to function,” he said. “Having said that: This makes me a Schalke machine.”