Jerome Boateng: I'm a fighter

The Bayern Munich defender was frozen out at the Allianz Arena but says he has won his place back thanks to football experiences he had when he was young
Jerome Boateng says the fighting characteristics he learned as a child have helped get him back into the Bayern Munich first team.

Boateng, 24, fell out of favour in Jupp Heynckes' side as Belgian defender Daniel Van Buyten was preferred to partner Dante in defence following Holger Badstuber's injury.

The centre-back admitted it was tough to deal with being frozen out but his childhood experiences playing football helped him through it.

"It was a difficult two months," Boateng told Bild. "But I've fought my way out of this stupid situation. I'm a fighter - I learned this as a child.

"As a child I played on the road against bigger players. Due to my technical skills I've always got by. No matter how often I was knocked to the ground, I always got up. Nothing knocks me down. It's stayed with me even now."

was involved in Bayern's 2-1 Champions League final victory over Borussia Dortmund at Wembley but a dream night almost became a nightmare for the former Manchester City defender when he lost his winner's medal.

"We celebrated our victory and jumped I on the pitch and in the stands -  everywhere. I must have lost it in the frenzy of victory," he continued.

"I was scared, I searched every corner of the dressing room
. I then quickly grasped the idea that someone would help; I put my faith in good people. My hope was confirmed fortunately."

Nick Zaccardi, a reporter for Sports Illustrated, found Boateng's medal and sent it to him - prompting the German international to dub him "my hero of the month".