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Sep 12, 2013

Boateng 'disappointed' by racism claims

Kevin-Prince Boateng has been left disappointed by comments made by Schalke chief financial officer Peter Peters, who claimed that racism drove the midfielder out of Italy.

Kevin-Prince Boateng has been lauded for taking a stand against racism in football
Boateng joined Schalke from AC Milan in the summer.

On Monday, Peters said that Boateng, who signed for Schalke from AC Milan this summer, had wanted to leave Italy "because of the racist incidents" he suffered during his time with the club.

Peters later backtracked regarding his remarks, after realising that he "caused something of a stir" as Schalke called it in an official statement on the club's official website.

Peters said: "Having spoken to our general manager, Horst Heldt, my initial assumption proved to be completely wrong. He confirmed that racist incidents were definitely not the reason for Kevin's move to Schalke."

On Thursday, in an interview with kicker magazine, Boateng said he was "disappointed by this statement" and confirmed Peters apologised to him.

"Only because of ten people shout ignorant slogans, I don't leave the country and lump all inhabitants together," he said. "I want to get one thing straight: Italy is not a racist country!"

Boateng left Milan during the last days of the transfer window and joined Schalke for a reported €12 million. The Berlin-born Ghana international rejected claims that joining Schalke represents a step back in his career.

"For me personally -- quite the opposite," he said. "Because I am in the best league in the world and have joined a club that is currently developing. I bear a lot of responsibility hear, also for the younger players. That is a major improvement."

Boateng, who says his favourite position is in central attacking midfield, has linked up with one of the up-and-coming Germany stars, Julian Draxler, who also feels comfortable in the same role. Boateng's arrival has seen Draxler moved back to left midfield, a position that he also plays for Germany.

"We will not get in each other's way," Boateng said. "I have talked to Julian and said that we should switch positions as often as possible, also with [Jefferson] Farfan on the right wing. It's not a problem for me to swerve to the wings."

The former Tottenham player added that he had no problems with Draxler wearing the No. 10 shirt. "Of course, that is a magic number, which everyone in that position wants to have," he said. "At this age and on this position Julian [Draxler] is the best in the world. That he wears the ten is no problem."

Boateng refused to speak of his goals for this season. "I have exactly one goal at Schalke: To win the next game. And the week after that I have the same goal," he said. "That's the only way to win titles."

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