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No place like home

Stage set for Berlin boy Boateng

As every pro knows, you don’t often get what you wish for in football. However, if Jérôme Boateng could have made one suggestion for inclusion in the script for the 51st Bundesliga season, it would have been for the going-in position prior to the 27th round of matches to be exactly as it actually is. Bayern need one win to be certain of the title, and they can post the necessary victory on Tuesday in Berlin, “where it all started for me,” Boateng recalled for

“I’m a Berlin boy,” said the 25-year-old, now in his third season with FCB. Jerome grew up in the suburb of Charlottenburg just a short distance from the venerable Olympic Stadium, where he now returns with Bayern. The defender is in a state of high anticipation prior to the clash: “It would be very special if we could seal the championship at the stadium where I played my first Bundesliga match.”

Support from the stands

The man who would go on to become a Germany international made his top-flight debut with Hertha BSC some seven years ago back in January 2007. In all, Jerome spent five seasons with the Old Lady of German football from 2002 to 2007. He has not entirely lost touch with the club that turned him from a promising youngster into a top pro. As a youth he was on the same team as current Hertha back-up keeper Sascha Burchert, and he maintains regular contact with Änis Ben-Hatira, Maik Franz and Sami Allagui.

“I’ve swapped a few text messages with Sami,” revealed Boateng, who knows FCB will get nothing for free at the Olympic Stadium: “Berlin are looking forward to it and intend to trip us up,” he reported. However, between 50 and 60 Boateng family members and friends will be cheering for Jérôme on Tuesday night. “And I want to celebrate with the team after the match,” the player declared - in Berlin, where it all began.