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