It’s a rare thing indeed when a player wins the World Player of the Week award for something not at all to do with his performance with a football at his feet, but Kevin-Prince Boateng made the world take note when he made a stand against racism.
The AC Milan midfielder instigated a walk-off from what would have otherwise been a meaningless friendly against Pro Patria, and the consequence of his decision to react that way to offensive chanting has brought about heavy praise from numerous footballing figures across the globe.
The icing on the cake for the former Portsmouth star was that he put in a decent shift for the Serie A side against Siena on Sunday, setting up Bojan Krkic for his opener as they went on their way to a 2-1 win. Not that his performance mattered for this award – Boateng would have had to have played horrendously not to get the first World Player of the Week of 2013.
Goal.com’s Kris Voakes: “As the majority of the world’s biggest leagues returned to the football field this week, surely one of the most important modern messages also found itself being sent around the sporting world from the tiny Lombardy town of Busto Arsizio thanks to Kevin-Prince Boateng.
“In a sport which still finds itself asking players to ‘man up’ and get on with it when faced with despicable racist abuse, the Ghanaian rightly decided to make a stand after Pro Patria fans had spent the first 26 minutes of their friendly with AC Milan firing slurs at the Rossoneri’s black players.
“By leading his team-mates off the pitch, Boateng potentially did more for football than any goalscoring, game-saving or match-winning heroes can hope to achieve in 2013. As football looks to win one of the biggest battles it has ever faced, Boateng has given everybody an example to follow.”
|Congratulations to Kevin-Prince Boateng, Goal.com’s 190th World Player of the Week winner!
Andre Pierre Gignac – OM
Chie Risa: “Andre Pierre Gignac’s two goals in their cup clash should earn him some praise.”
Goal.com’s Joseph Ebequoi: “Ever since Gignac came back from his two-month injury he’s been Marseille’s Messi(ah).”
Mauro Icardi – Sampdoria
Robert Yusuf: “I couldn’t believe Juve got beaten. Icardi dominated by getting those goals.”
Goal.com’s Joe Wright: “After a stellar 2012, Icardi ensured Juventus started 2013 with a nasty bump.”
Cristiano Ronaldo – Real Madrid
Bassam: “I’ll go with Cristiano Ronaldo as he saved Real Madrid.”
Goal.com’s Miles Chambers: “Captain for the night, Ronaldo’s goals ensured they didn’t drop more points.”
Robin van Persie – Man United
Leo Andhika K: “Van Persie! No doubt, one of the best United strikers at [a] critical time.”
Goal.com’s Ryan Kelly: “Van Persie had yet another goal-laden week. Shades of Bergkamp v West Ham.”