By Oliver Trust
BERLIN, May 27 (Xinhua) -- Life as a footballer currently contains a certain amount of tragedy for Jerome Boateng. His future at the 2019 German league and cup winners Bayern Munich is uncertain after president Uli Hoeness said of the former German international: "As a friend, I would advise him to leave our club."
Hoeness emphasized that the 30-year-old appears like an outsider and should consider a new challenge at another club.
So what has happened to the seven-time Bundesliga champion and four-time German Cup winner?
Boateng is undoubtedly one of Bayern's legends, being part of the team that won the 2013 Champions League. The Berlin-born defender was one of Germany's 2014 World Cup-winning heroes and developed into one of the world's best central defenders.
But things have significantly changed for the worse for him. The 2018-19 season can be seen as a fatal turning-point.
All of a sudden, Boateng is up for sale despite having a contract until 2021, but no offers appear forthcoming.
Boateng not only lost his place in Bayern's starting XI, but had to deal with the disappointment of being excluded from the German national team by coach Joachim Loew.
Over the last year, the relationship with the club he joined in 2011 has gone from good (last August) to bad (in autumn 2018) and now shattered (in spring 2019).
A week ago, Boateng disappeared into the locker room while his teammates were celebrating their 2019 title win with fans in the Munich Arena. He also missed the team party in the evening, saying that he was joining a friend's birthday party.
Only seven days later, after Bayern's German Cup triumph against RB Leipzig, Boateng again avoided teammates and fans while they partied in Berlin's Olympic Stadium.
Former German international and Bayern captain Lothar Matthaus called the relationship between club and player "done and over." According to the 58-year-old, Boateng refused to accept a bit-part role after others "were better than him. You don't need a player causing a bad mood in your squad."
Not being with the team to celebrate two trophies is unforgivable, Matthaus added.
Boateng himself said the 2018-19 wasn't satisfying for both sides. The defender expressed his disappointment at not being chosen by head coach Niko Kovac for Bayern's important games, starting just eight games this season after the winter break.
Before the start of the season, Bayern and Kovac rejected an offer for Boateng from Paris Saint Germain, saying the defender was a valuable first-team player.
However, the emergence of Niklas Sule to partner Mats Hummels during the course of the season led to Kovac increasingly omitting Boateng from his starting XI.
For the 2019-20 season, Bayern's ranks will be swelled by 2018 World Cup winners Lucas Hernandez (Atletico Madrid) and Benjamin Pavard (VfB Stuttgart), meaning Boateng could be pushed down to fifth in the defensive pecking order.
The tabloid Bild speaks of interest from Inter Milan, but reports suggest that Boateng's wage demands may price him out of a move to the Italian side.
The paper reports that Boateng would rather stay in Munich than accept a wage cut. Italian champions Juventus also recently pulled out of a possible deal, with Boateng's wages said to be the sticking point.
Meanwhile, Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge renewed accusations that Boateng's lifestyle choices came at the expense of his professionalism as a footballer. Rummenigge added that if the defender is seeking a new challenge, an appropriate solution will be found shortly.