Bayern Munich defender Jerome Boateng has responded to CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge’s criticism of his off-field activities, telling Bild that his dip in form is not down to “any PR or lifestyle obligations.”
Boateng, 28, was at fault for Rostov’s first two goals in the German champions’ surprise 3-2 defeat in Russia on Wednesday.
Sardar Azmoun got the better of him to equalise after Douglas Costa had given Bayern the lead after 35 minutes, and he also conceded a penalty following a ungainly tackle on Christian Noboa as Rostov came from behind to win their first ever Champions League game with a superb Noboa free kick on 67 minutes.
“I didn’t play well,” Boateng admitted. “Criticism of both the team’s performance and mine is justified, but I’m not yet at 100 percent because of my injury at Euro 2016 which meant an interrupted preseason training.”
Boateng, Germany’s Footballer of the Year, has won awards for his charity work and social engagement. Rapper Jay Z currently advises the Berlin-born defender on his U.S. marketing efforts, which include a designer glasses label.
Rummenigge told Sky that “it’s all got a bit much” for Boateng and that he needs to come “back to earth a little,” but the defender said his off-field activities have not affected his game.
“It’s not due to any PR or lifestyle obligations, he said. “Anyone who knows me will know that I always do everything to reach top form.”
Boateng’s disappointing night at Rostov worsened when he hobbled off with injury just before the hour mark.
However, Bayern said on their official website that the injury was “nothing worse than a tight muscle” and that Boateng will be fit for Bayern’s Bundesliga game against Leverkusen on Saturday.