Kevin-Prince Boateng opens up about the only conversation he's had with Lionel Messi
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Kevin-Prince Boateng claims former Barcelona teammate Lionel Messi asked him if it's "difficult" to score in Italy, which in-turn "showed the rivalry" between him and then-Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo.
The 36-year-old retired midfielder, who enjoyed spells Tottenham, Portsmouth and AC Milan during his 19-year career, joined Barcelona in January 2019 on a loan deal until the end of the season.
He would go on to make five appearances for the Catalan side and lifted both the Spanish Super Cup and La Liga.
Here, he would also forge relationships with some of the world's best players, although Lionel Messi would rarely speak to the former Ghana international. In fact, they only spoke once.
Speaking to Rio Ferdinand on his VIBE with FIVE podcast, Boateng opened up about that conversation.
He said: "Messi is the captain but doesn't speak. We spoke one time in the shower because he asked if it's difficult to score in Italy because Ronaldo was there at that time, and he showed the rivalry between them.
"I told him that it was more difficult that Ronaldo was there, and he scored every game for three years. People forget too easily what he's done there.”
Boateng also revealed he was "forced" to lie and say Messi was the best player in the world when he joined Barcelona.
"I remember that when I arrived in Barcelona they immediately asked me who the best player in the world was. I had to say it was Lionel Messi, I lied. It was one of the biggest lies of my life," he added.
"Normally I always tell the truth, but I lied because it was the only way to wear the Barcelona shirt. I always supported Real Madrid when I was a teenager. I love Cristiano Ronaldo. But they told me I had to say that, otherwise I wouldn't play."
As well as speaking about Messi, the outspoken Prince Boateng ripped into Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag before accusing him of 'disrespecting' Cristiano Ronaldo.
"I think he [Ten Hag] has got to go. From what I'm seeing, there's no energy," Boateng said.
"What he did to Ronaldo and all that stuff, I don't think he is on then level to coach Manchester United.
"The team is not the best, you have to be honest. They have some good players but they're not the best. But still, there's no fire.
"You come to Old Trafford there's no pace, no one gets angry, no one puts in passion and fire. And if my players don't do that, as the coach, I have to do that."
When host Ferdinand asked Boateng to expand on his comments about Ronaldo, he said: "He was the top scorer and he just kicked him out. He just went against the best player in the team, you don't do that.
"You have to give him respect. There's ways to let a player off and I think he chose the wrong way."