Oh, brother! Boateng boys meet again
FORTALEZA, Brazil: Brotherly love will be forgotten on Saturday when Germany’s Jerome Boateng faces his sibling once more at a World Cup with Ghana’s Kevin-Prince Boateng predicting a ‘fight to the death’.
The half brothers were both born in Berlin to separate mothers, but in 2009, Schalke’s Kevin-Prince, 27, opted to play for the country of his father.
He turned to Ghana having become discouraged by a perceived lack of opportunities even after the brothers had made a single appearance in the same Germany Under-21 team.
The brothers normally have daily contact via SMS or telephone, but there has been radio silence as they prepare for the Fortaleza clash in Group G.
“We’ve had no contact recently, each of us is just concentrating on himself,” said Bayern Munich’s Jerome Boateng.
The 25-year-old will face Ghana with a splint on his right hand having torn a thumb ligament in Germany’s opening 4-0 win over Portugal.
In South Africa, they set a record by becoming the first brothers to play against each other at a World Cup finals.
Four years on, Germany are looking to maintain their grip on the group after hammering Portugal, but Kevin-Prince has turned up the heat on the tie.
“It’s like in ancient Rome. There will be people around the pitch who want to see how two teams fight,” the Schalke 04 star told German magazine Sport Bild.
There was bad blood between the brothers before the last World Cup when a hard Kevin-Prince Boateng tackle in the FA Cup final between Portsmouth and Chelsea ruled Germany captain Michael Ballack out of the tournament.
The brothers hail from the tough Berlin district of Wedding and neither are short of confidence, but Kevin-Prince attracts attention. In contrast, Germany coach Joachim Loew singled out Jerome for praise after keeping World Player of the Year Cristiano Ronaldo subdued as Thomas Mueller claimed a hat-trick against Portugal. Whatever the outcome of Saturday, there will be at least one happy member of the Boateng clan.
“For me, it’s the easiest game ever,” Prince Boateng told German daily TZ. “Regardless of what happens, I can only win. My only wish is that nobody gets hurt.”