A Ghana bad boy, who has been suspended from representing the Black Stars, recalled how Nelson Mandela joked with him about marrying his daughter.
Kevin-Prince Boateng had just switched allegiances from representig his country of birth, Germany, whom represented at youth level, to don the Ghana shirt ahead of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
Ahead of the tournament in South Africa he met legendary SA president Mandela and how Madiba joked with him during an official function.
“There were three people I always wanted to meet: Michael Jackson, Muhammad Ali and Nelson Mandela,” Boateng told Sid Lowe in an interview for 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.”
“Luckily he broke the ice, because you just stand there. It was the World Cup, people were calling me ‘David Black-ham’, going crazy for me. I was kind of like a star.
“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 currently plays for Las Palmas in La Liga, but has represented Ghana since falling out with then coach Kwesi Appiah during the 2014 FIFA World Cup.