Former Ghanaian international, Kevin-Prince Boateng has confessed to falsely stating that Lionel Messi was the best player in the world – over Cristiano Ronaldo – solely to secure his spot at Barcelona.
This admission came during Boateng’s candid discussion on the FIVE UK podcast.
Boateng, who enjoyed a loan spell at Barcelona during the 2018/19 season, was in a unique position to comment on Messi’s abilities. Notably, he was set to share the pitch with the Argentine maestro, and his initial endorsement of Messi as the world’s best came right before his eventual move to the Catalan club.
At the time, the statement was seen as a ringing endorsement of Messi’s prowess, and it quickly gained traction in media circles. Boateng notably stated in an interview with SPOX (via Marca) in 2018:
“Ronaldo makes all of this happen in this world, but only in this world. In what transcends this world, the best is Messi, because he is incredible, he does things that nobody can do. I do not see him in this world. Ronaldo dominates this world and Messi is above everything else.”
However, it turns out the declaration was more strategic than heartfelt, according to Boateng. During the FIVE UK podcast, the former AC Milan and Schalke 04 player was candid about the situation, stating (via TeamCRonaldo):
“They asked who was the best player in the world, and I said Messi. This one is one of the biggest lies. I usually always say the truth, but this time I had to lie to wear the Barcelona shirt at the Camp Nou.”
In January 2019, Barca notably announced a loan move for the former Ghanian international, snagging him from Sassuolo in a deal that included the option to buy.