It’s not every day one gets the chance to marry the daughter of a renowned former world leader, but that’s exactly what happened to Kevin-Prince Boateng after the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
Boateng had switched his allegiance from his native Germany, who he represented at youth level, to Ghana, in time to become an important member of the side that came within a penalty shootout of the World Cup semi-finals.
The Ghana team also met with former South Africa president Nelson Mandela, something that was a dream come true for the midfielder.
“There were three people I always wanted to meet: Michael Jackson, Muhammad Ali and Nelson Mandela,” Boateng said in an interview with The Guardian . “I only met one, and it’s hard to describe. It’s just joy. Mandela was in prison for 27 years just because he stood up for his rights and he sits there and has no anger inside.
"He should be angry with the whole world, but he wasn’t. He’s calm, just there in his little seat saying hello to everybody. He makes you feel calm. He was shining. It’s like a movie. It’s like an angel sitting there.”
Boateng recalled he was in such awe of Mandela, he was unable to think of anything to say. However, Boateng’s star had risen so much after starting five games for Ghana in the tournament, the former crusader against apartheid not only knew who he was, but also let him know his daughter was a huge fan.
“We go into the room: ‘Hello … hello … hello.’ He shook my hand, pulled me towards him and said: ‘My daughter wants to marry you.’ I said: ‘Sorry I already have a girlfriend.’
"He said: ‘No, no but I have others, more beautiful.’ Everyone was laughing. The pity is we couldn’t take pictures because the flash hurt his eyes so I only have one.”
Boateng added: “And it doesn’t even look like me.”