Kevin Prince Boateng has had an outstanding season so far with his game being taken to the next level.
It has culminated in the German born Ghanaian being voted for the African footballer of the year 2011 award.
The other nominees are:
- Adel Taarabt, Queens Park Rangers
- Samuel Eto'o, Anzhi Makhachkala
- Asamoah Gyan Al Ain (on loan from Sunderland)
- Seydou Keita, Barcelona
- Gervinho, Arsenal
- Yaya Toure, Manchester City
- Andre Ayew, Marseille
- Moussa Sow, Lille
- Didier Drogba, Chelsea
The Ghanaian has added a great number of goals to the Milan midfield with six goals in 10 games so far.
It all started in pre-season where he scored the winner in the Italian Super Coppa with a superb karate kick celebration to boot.
His goals have not been irrelevant either. Rather, they have come at crucial times to haul his team back in to contention or claim the wins outright for his team.
Immediately, the Lecce game stands out as a signature performance where his hat trick hauled a depleted Rossoneri from a three goal deficit to a 4-3 victory and arguably turned the champions from a struggling outfit to the favourites for the Scudetto once again that have won seven out of their last eight Serie A games.
Boateng has proved that he is among the best strikers of a football in the game with superb technique to deliver power and accuracy as shown against Bate Borisov with his blockbuster strike.
So not only are we seeing spectacular goals but Prince is delivering on the big stage in the Champions League.
In the huge Champions League group H game against Barcelona, Boateng stunned everybody by handing in another candidate for goal of the season as he killed the ball midair on the stretch with his toes before completely bamboozling Eric Abidal with some outrageous skill before another fierce strike flew past the goalkeeper, Victor Valdes, as the San Siro erupted.
He is also contributing with assists this season, shown last weekend against Genoa with a fine piece of wing play before he put the ball on a plate for Antonio Nocerino to end the game, 2-0 in Milan's favour.
Only Moussa Sow and Gervinho have won trophies this year, other than Boateng, but the latter's production has trailed off massively since he has moved up a level from Ligue 1 to the Premier League while the former, whilst his goals were vital, had two of the more creative players in Europe geared towards setting him up specifically.
Boateng has fought for a place in the Milan side, claiming the trequartista role, which is probably not his natural position, but for the time being he is proving how significant he is for the 2011 Scudetto winners.
It is only fitting then that 2011 should be the year of the Prince.