Bayern Munich defender Jérôme Boateng is celebrating a new record. He has played in 50 consecutive Bundesliga matches without suffering a defeat. Forty-four of those were wins. The last time Boateng left the field without at least a point in his back pocket in a league match was October 2012.
Let that fact marinate for a second. Fifty straight Bundesliga wins. Sit back and ask yourself if there is anything you could do 50 times consecutively without falling on your face in failure. It’s an impressive mark.
Sure, the undefeated streak is more a symbol of Bayern Munich’s overall domestic greatness than anything Boateng has done individually, but that’s not as much fun. We should celebrate Jérôme Boateng. The man has done great things. Some of them even took place on a soccer field.
We can start with the fact that he used his own #JB17 nickname in his personally congratulatory tweet. That’s the sign of a man with vision. Brand awareness is critical in the modern game.
In August, Jerome met Lil’ Wayne. If you’ve heard Wayne lately, you know that he’s preparing for his “last” album, and he’s finally starting to sound like he did for the first two or three The Carter albums, when he was halfway listenable.
Now you know why. Maybe. Jerome Boateng probably sat him down and had a heart-to-heart. He let him know that the world missed that mixtape Weezy. He told him the punchlines had gotten lazy, that hashtag rap in 2014 was a bad look, and, most of all, no one over 16 wanted to rock Trukfit.
Two weeks ago, Boateng met the Pope. Turns out even global spiritual advisors need spiritual advisors.
Pope Francis is known as the liberal’s Pope. With a young visionary like Jérôme in his ear, it’s no surprise. Once a month or so, the Pope will call Boateng to get the pulse of the youth, to better understand how the church can serve the next generation of followers.
“What’s really good in these streets,” Pope Francis would ask. The ever-vigilant Jérôme would tell him of his world travels and the concerns brought to him by his thousands of concerned fans. The youth know that Boateng has a direct line to Jesus, via Rome. It’s a role he takes on with pride and respect.
In February, Jérôme singlehandedly scouted Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos well enough to re-write the Seattle Seahawks defensive playbook and lead them to a 43-8 victory. He was the first person to crack the code of Manning’s pre-snap audibles and passed the info along to Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman. Boateng’s intel was the key to Sherman’s slight uptick in confidence going into the game.
After winning the Bundesliga with Bayern last year, Boateng took it upon himself to anoint Toni Kroos with beer blessed by his good friend the Pope. Kroos found renewed faith, moved to Real Madrid and has thus far completed more passes than any other player in La Liga.
Going undefeated in any league — regardless of competition — is something to celebrate. A group of average adults would probably lose to a team of half-blind kids once if they got 50 cracks at it. Bayern Munich is a machine, and Jérome Boateng is its most underrated cog. Above all, though, his greatest accomplishment is pulling off a bow-tie (the Devil’s knot) without you wanting to harm him. It’s a rare feat, and emblematic of the sort of greatness Boateng has achieved in just 26 years.