Barcelona midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng says football has positively changed his life and given him a stronger mentality.
Born and raised in Germany, the 31-year-old former AC Milan star, who moved to Camp Nou from Italian side Sassuolo in January, claims that the sport has helped him learn different languages and lifestyles from different countries.
"I think without football I would not be as smart as I am today," Boateng told Sky Sports Italia TV.
"Many people think that the word football means being on the pitch or scoring a goal or a heel, but it has helped me to become smarter, more open and learn so many languages in many countries," he said.
"Football is more than just shooting and scoring, which is what we need to know, even for young people, because today we see Neymar and we all applaud him, of course, he is one of the strongest players.
"But we want to be all like him, but football is something more: an opportunity to learn languages and get to a mental level that, perhaps, you would never have thought you could achieve," he added.
Boateng began his career with Bundesliga side Hertha Berlin before joining Tottenham Hotspur in England. He has since played in Italy and Spain.
On international level, he opted to represent Ghana at senior level ahead of Germany and was a member of the Black Stars at the 2010 and 2014 Fifa World Cup tournaments.