Bayern Munich vs. Eintracht Frankfurt; Jerome Boateng vs. Kevin-Prince Boateng - the brotherly sub-plot that surrounds the fixture. Unfortunately for Jerome and Bayern, the center back will miss out when the two sides meet in Berlin for the DFB-Pokal final due to the hamstring injury he sustained in the Champions League against Real Madrid.
Knowing that his younger brother will be missing out on the cup final, Frankfurt’s Kevin-Prince Boateng, speaking to Spiegel (via tz), assured that his side have a better chance at lifting the trophy without Jerome available for Bayern:
I’m very sad about it, but we also have better chances for that reason. Jerome is one of the best center-backs in the world, and without him Bayern are a little bit weaker.
The two brothers have squared off against one another numerous times throughout their respective careers in both club and international competition. Being two years older than Jerome, Kevin-Prince acknowledged he helped his younger brother develop as a player and avoid some of the same mistakes that he made in his early career:
I made a lot of mistakes, and he was intelligent enough to see what mistakes he needed to avoid. And of course he also worked hard. Jerome was always a good defender, but there was always this “but.” But he’s too sleepy. But he’s too slow. But this, but that. He trained hard and ended that. He continued to develop and he still isn’t done. He’s a very calm guy, closes his eyes, and pushes through.
Seeing his younger brother grow and develop before his eyes, Kevin also described the relentless work rate Jerome has always shown, even at a young age:
Jerome can surprise you. We were at home by the Panke (river in Berlin), and I could shoot with my left and right foot. Boom boom boom. I think I was twelve at the time. But Jerome could only shoot with his right foot. But it didn’t work as well with his left foot. Then he was just sad, went back home to his mom in Wilmersdorf, and then we saw each other again three months later. But then he shot the ball in with both his right and left foot, because he had practiced it for three months. That’s Jerome: sad. Retreated in himself. Went home. Practiced. Back. And then: bam bam bam!
Referencing the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, Kevin-Prince recalled when Ghana and Germany faced off in a Group D encounter with his father in attendance in Johannesburg. Boateng senior, who is Ghanaian, was seen sporting a Germany kit in the stands during the match, suggesting that he was ‘picking sides’ in favor of Jerome and Germany. Kevin-Prince said that it was just part in parcel with the healthy competition that runs in the family:
It hurt, but I'm over it. We’re a normal, intelligent family that knows: after war comes peace.
And if his father shows up in a Bayern jersey?
If he does that, I’ll come get him in the stands!