Out-of-favour Ghana star Kevin Prince Boateng wishes he had approached his early success differently, after seeing his once promising career do a nosedive.
At 29 the Germany-born midfielder is fighting back, and has had an encouraging start to life in the Spanish La Liga where he is the top scorer for 10th-placed Las Palmas with five goals in 11 appearances.
The resurgence of the former Serie A winner with AC Milan is attracting attention once again, but looking back, he wished he had done things differently. He especially regrets not working hard to make the most of his obvious talent, and blowing his wealth on cars, clubbing and fake friends.
In two years, I spent all my money on cars clubs, and friends that really were not, the flamboyant veteran of the 2010 and 2014 World Cups told Spanish publication Marca.
For a guy like me, I grew up in a poor neighbourhood, and having all that money to spend was dangerous.
He added: I regret a lot of things. When I was younger, I did not work hard because I could rely on my talent. That is not the right path.
I wish I had worked harder, but then again, it was normal back then, since I was the boss of my town and had money and fame.
Boateng has not played for Ghana since the World Cup in Brazil two and a half years ago when he was expelled from camp for unruly behavior, but he has recently said he will like to play at the 2018 World Cup.
He however sharply divides opinion among Black Stars fans, with some arguing that his talent is badly needed and he should be recalled to the team, while others are unhappy that he appears only to be interested in playing at the World Cup.