Ghana and AC Milan midfielder Kevin Prince Boateng has revealed he nearly called it a quit with football when he was suspended indefinitely by former club Schalke 04 due to ‘disciplinary issues’ in May last year.
The 28-year-old struggled to land a deal, with reported moves to Saudi Arabian side Al-Ittihad Jeddah and Sporting Lisbon falling through, until he rejoined Milan in January.
“Of course I considered it [quitting football],” Boateng told Sport Bild.
“When you can’t find a new club for whatever reasons, and Schalke, the club you are contracted to, no longer want you, you ask yourself if maybe you should quit and do something else to make you happy. But when you are only 28, it’s too early to leave a sport that you love.
“But peace is something you make after a war, and I never had a war or looked for one. But I am pleased that we can now clear it all up calmly and I wish Schalke all the best.
“It was really hard not to have found a new club for such a long time, and also to have no club wanting to put their faith in me for such a long time. I suffered a lot during this time,” he admitted.
“It was the toughest time of my career because, before then, I had always had the luxury of being part of a club where I was playing and I was one of the most important players in that team. I would ask a lot of questions of myself and wonder what it was that I had done wrong in the two years.”
Boateng still believes that he was unfairly treated by Schalke since they couldn’t point out exactly his crime to him.
“I cannot think of anything so bad to justify throwing me out,” he said. “Of course I made mistakes, [but not such] that a club who had spent €10 million on me would then suspend me.”
However, Boateng expressed his delight to return to the pitch with Milan.
“It’s incredible the feeling of being back here,” he said. “I’d not been playing for eight months and now I have the chance to play again for the club I love. I’m glad I got through this period and immensely happy to be playing again finally,” he said.
“Now I want to bounce back and play for Milan for a long time, not just up until the summer. It’s fantastic to be at Milan. This is what I want and this is what [girlfriend] Melissa [Satta] wants. I feel at home here. I want to prove I am as good as I was two or three years ago,” he added.
Boateng has played three league games for the Rossoneri, scoring one goal against Fiorentina.
He was part of Ghana squad that played in the 2010 and 2014 Fifa World Cup tournaments and has15 caps under his belt for the Black Stars, scoring two goals.