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I want to stay at Boro - Boateng

George Boateng
George Boateng joined Boro in August 2002

Middlesbrough captain George Boateng has admitted he is passionate about staying at the Riverside if he can continue to play a key role.

"What I always want to do is play well as I don't want to lose respect," the 32-year-old midfielder told BBC Tees.

"I don't want to be here to be a bit-part player and pick up heavy wages. That's not me.

"I have to consider at the end of the season whether the club wants me and whether the plan is what I want."

606: DEBATE
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Players in the Premier League enjoy more longevity to their careers in the modern game with improved fitness and nutrition - and the former Aston Villa and Coventry City midfield man, signed by Steve McClaren for 5million in August 2002, is adamant that he is still able to operate at the top level.

"I'm 32, and in football terms people think you're old," he said. "But my mind and my body does not tell me that I am old, and the games that I have played say that I am not old.

"Yes, over the years you get tired and fatigued with the ageing process but I don't feel that the time is here for me to think I can play just one game a month."

The Dutchman is a firm fans' favourite at the Riverside and he has admitted the pull of the support is something that keeps him going.

We played Sunderland - I was on the bench and it killed me because it was a derby and it meant so much

Boro captain George Boateng

"I don't want the fans to see me less than what I've been over the last five and a half years," he said.

"I want to come to work, to the stadium holding my head high and look people in the eye and them to say 'He was a good player'."

Since arriving at Boro, he has claimed a Carling Cup winners' medal, played European football and now feels Teesside has become a place very close to his heart.

"When I came here I had no children, and now I have two beautiful children and they were both born here, one in Stockton, one in Middlesbrough," he said.

"I've been here so long and I feel like I'm local.

"When we played Sunderland it was the first time I was on the bench and it killed me because it was a derby and it meant so much."


see also
Southgate hails midfield pairing
13 Mar 08 |  Middlesbrough
Boateng pledges to stay at Boro
09 May 07 |  Middlesbrough
Boateng dismisses retirement talk
10 Mar 07 |  Middlesbrough


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