Kevin-Prince Boateng says he felt “inadequate” when he trained alongside Lionel Messi, hailing the Barcelona superstar as “something else.”
The well-travelled Boateng enjoyed six months at Barcelona in 2019 after completing a shock loan move.
He only played five games for the club, but the 33-year-old calls his time at Barcelona as “incredible” having played with Messi.
Boateng waxed lyrical about the Argentine – admitting he left him “speechless” during training and believes he’s not “normal” in comparison to long-time rival Cristiano Ronaldo.
“The six months at Barcelona were incredible,” he told DAZN via Goal.
“At first, I didn’t believe it. I thought it was Espanyol who wanted me, not the real Barcelona!”
On Messi, he added: “Training with Messi left me speechless. I had always said that Cristiano Ronaldo was the best in the world, but Messi is something else. He’s not normal.
“While training with him, I felt inadequate for the first time in my career. He was doing incredible things. I felt like saying, ‘I’m done, I’m going to quit playing!’”
Boateng also reminisced about his spell in the Premier League with Tottenham who signed the player for a reported £5.4 million in 2007.
His stint at Spurs is not looked back at fondly as he explains his off-field antics were to cover up his pain for not playing regularly.
“When I was young, at Tottenham, it’s true: I bought three luxury cars in one day, but there was so much pain inside me,” he revealed.
“I was trying to buy happiness. I wasn’t happy. I wasn’t playing. I wasn’t well and so I was looking for something else.
“Sure, I would change that part of my past.
“Often, I trusted only my talent and, with the talent I have, without being arrogant, I could have done a lot more.
“Although, I have had a beautiful career anyway.”