Ghana international, Kevin-Prince Boateng, has refuted claims that he quit AC Milan due to racism in Italy.
The bustling midfielder joined Bundesliga side Schalke on transfer deadline day, in a move that confounded seasoned Serie A watchers.
He had just scored a brace to help the Rossoneri qualify for the group stage of the Champions League, and was an integral part of the pedigreed club’s midfield.
Soon after his move, Schalke director, Peter Peters, alleged that Boateng had been driven away from Italy due to the racist incidents that have blighted football there for the past few seasons.
But Boateng was upset by Peters’ comments, and the director has subsequently apologised for putting words in the midfielder’s mouth.
"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," Peters told Schalke’s website.
Boateng insists that he is a bigger man that to have been chased away by a small amount of people shouting “ignorant slogans.”
And he actually claims that Italy is not a racist country in general.
"Only because of ten people shout ignorant slogans, I don't leave the country and lump all inhabitants together," he told kicker magazine.
"I want to get one thing straight: Italy is not a racist country!"
Of his shock move back to Germany, where his professional career began, Boateng explains that it was purely a football decision, and that he is excited by the challenges he has found at Schalke.
"For me personally -- quite the opposite [to running away]," 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 here, also for the younger players. That is a major improvement."