Brotherly love: Boateng siblings to face off at World Cup…again

Group G of next summer’s World Cup promises to be one of the most tightly contested pools, with Germany, Portugal, Ghana and the United States set to fight it out for a place in the knockout rounds.

However, an interesting sub-plot will be the potential match-up of two brothers on opposing sides, with the Boateng siblings set to face each other.

Bayern Munich’s Jérôme and Schalke’s Kevin-Prince Boateng are on contrasting sides of the fence for Germany’s fixture with Ghana, with no love set to be lost in what should be an intriguing fixture.

It will be the second consecutive World Cup campaign that the pair have faced off against each other, as the teams and brothers took the field against each other in 2010.

In the final game of Group D in South Africa, Germany and Ghana’s qualification hopes were in the balance as the teams met in Johannesburg. Joachim Löw’s side prevailed 1-0 through a goal from Mesut Özil, which allowed both sides to make the knockout rounds.

Kevin-Prince played the full game for Ghana, while Jérôme was replaced after 73 minutes. It was the first time that brothers played against each other in the World Cup.

The brothers were both born in Berlin, and played together in age-grade sides, but Kevin-Prince made the decision in 2010 to play for the country of his father’s origin.

Kevin-Prince and Jérôme BoatengSince then the Schalke attacker has made ten appearances for the African nation, scoring twice, and played a part in the Black Stars’ qualification for this World Cup.

Meanwhile, Jérôme made his international debut for Germany back in 2009 and has since represented his nation on 36 occasions.

The likelihood of the pair playing against each other in Brazil is relatively high, as barring injury both should be included in their respective national contingents.

Kevin-Prince has been an instant hit since a summer move to Gelsenkirchen from AC Milan, and is one of Ghana’s most technically gifted stars.

Jérôme has started 13 games for Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga this term and is seemingly first choice for Pep Guardiola in the European champions’ back four.

While Kevin-Prince will surely start for Ghana if fit and available, Jérôme will have more competition for a starting berth in Low’s side. The likes of Mats Hummels and Per Mertesacker will also be in contention for a place in the XI.

At club level, the brothers have had a chance to play for the same club in the past and will most likely play against each other for their sides again before the World Cup.

Both graduated from the Hertha Berlin youth academy and were on the same club’s books until July 2007, when Kevin-Prince moved to Tottenham.

The pair were on opposition sides earlier this term in September when Bayern and Schalke did battle in the Bundesliga. The visitors to Gelsenkirchen won a one-sided clash 4-0, with the brothers facing off on contrasting sides.

The return fixture domestically is scheduled for March 1st, while both sides have also progressed to the knockout rounds of the Champions League and could potentially square off later in the tournament.

The case of the Boateng brothers is certainly a unique scenario, with two top players set to grace the World Cup. Their personal rivalry should add spice to what already should be an enthralling clash between Germany and Ghana.

I am a freelance football journalist from Northern Ireland living in Broome in Western Australia. I have worked for top media outlets such as FourFourTwo,, Soccerlens, Football Fancast and Here is the City. I am a lifelong and long-suffering Tottenham fan. Follow me on Twitter at @90MinsOnline
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