Der Torjäger - Volume 2
Kevin-Prince Boateng Heads to Gelsenkirchen in Bundesliga Return
Ghanaian international Kevin-Prince Boateng has made a return to Germany’s top flight after a four year stint away from the Bundesliga, transferring from Italian giants to Schalke 04.
The 26 year old put pen to paper on a four year deal costing the Westphalia club in excess of 15 million euros bringing an end to his three years at the San Siro in which Boateng made 74 appearances for the Rossoneri and scoring on 10 occasions, including a recent brace against PSV Eindhoven in the qualifiers for this years Champions League.
After leaving Hertha Berlin in 2007, Kevin-Prince Boateng spent two years at White Hart Lane with Tottenham Hotspur but due to lack of playing time he spent the latter part of his second season on loan at Schalke’s bitter rivals Borussia Dortmund before moving back to the Premier League to play for Portsmouth.
It was arguably his spell at Pompey where he matured as a player and made a name for himself, although only spending one season at Fratton Park, he helped his side to the FA Cup final, despite losing the final 1-0 to Chelsea and just months later represented Ghana at the World Cup in South Africa.
It was after helping his nation reach the last eight at the 2010 World Cup that Boateng moved to Serie A, where he won a Scudetto and a Coppa Italia.
Kevin-Prince Boateng adds some healthy competition to an already impressive Schalke midfield containing the likes of Julian Draxler and Jefferson Farfan. Jens Keller can either opt to place Boateng in a more defensive role or have him playing through the middle behind the lone striker, whether it would be Klaas-Jan Huntelaar or Adam Szalai, who was also a new addition this summer, arriving from Mainz 05.
Speaking of his transfer Boateng said : “Schalke 04 are a top club, who are also in the Champions League. It’s a new challenge for me and I can continue my development here. I like working with young managers such as Jens Keller – it was simply a perfect fit. I’m looking forward to it.”
The Schalke 04 faithful will certainly be hoping that Boateng will be able to help Die Könnigsblauen from a bad start to the season, especially after he made his debut in a 2-0 victory over Bayer Leverkusen – their first of the season.
Die Mannschaft on Brink of Qualification
The German national team took a step, or even a leap, towards qualification to next year’s World Cup by winning their last two qualifiers, both by three goals to nil.
First up on Friday night was a match-up at Bayern Munich’s Allianz Arena against neighbouring Austria in one of international football’s oldest rivalries, dating back to the Anschluss in 1938.
It turned out to be a momentous occasion as former captain Michael Ballack was honoured before the game. Ballack, who captained Germany in South Africa in 2010 made the last of his 98 caps the same year.
It was also a special night for current skipper Philipp Lahm as he reached a century of caps for his country. A passing of the baton, perhaps, from Ballack to Lahm.
Polish born Miroslav Klose also had a night to remember when he opened the scoring in the first-half. This goal, his 68th in German colours means he is now tied with the legendary Gerd Müller for all-time German top-scorer.
Second half goals from Bayern Munich midfielders Toni Kroos and Thomas Müller sealed the three points for Germany.
They won by the same scoreline in the Faroe Islands on Tuesday night. Goals from Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker, his new team-mate Mesut Özil, who scored from the spot and a third later added from Thomas Müller now means that Germany are just one win away from guaranteeing themselves a spot at the World Cup in Brazil next year.
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