Kevin Prince Boateng wasted money on 'cars, clubs and friends who weren't friends'

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The ex-Tottenham and AC Milan midfielder is enjoying his football at Las Palmas, but admits he initially struggled to handle the rewards of being a professional

Kevin-Prince Boateng admits he spent two years squandering a fortune as he struggled to cope with the trappings of fame.

The former Tottenham and AC Milan midfielder concedes that having been raised in a poor neighbourhood of Berlin, he found it ‘dangerous’ to have so much disposable income.

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He made the breakthrough at Hertha Berlin, earning a move to the Premier League at White Hart Lane in 2007.

Boateng initially struggled to make an impact in England, with switches to Portsmouth and Milan helping to kick-start his career.

Now on the books at La Liga outfit Las Palmas, the 29-year-old told Marca in regards to his early days: “For me it was impossible. From one day to another you have so much money you can buy everything. 

“In two years I spent all my money on cars, watches, boots, nightclubs, restaurants and friends who really were not. 

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“For a guy like me, who grew up in a poor neighbourhood and had no money, it was dangerous.”

Boateng acknowledges that he has made a number of mistakes in his career, but feels he has taken important lessons from them and is a stronger person and player today for those experiences.

He added: “In life it is important to recognise the bad. Thanks to the mistakes, I am what I am. I was a very impulsive person and maybe I'm smarter now.”

The Ghana international saw his career take off after leaving north London, but admits it was a productive experience at the 2010 World Cup which acted as a true wake-up call.

“At the 2010 World Cup, I saw players at another level and I thought I had to concentrate only on football to reach that level. 

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“My mind was on other things that were not important. There I decided to change my mentality.”

Boateng has made 11 appearances for Las Palmas this season in all competitions, with a five-goal return helping to counter an early red card.

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