Football Soccer - Borussia Moenchengladbach v Bayern Munich - German Bundesliga - BORUSSIA PARK, Moenchengladbach, Germany - 05/12/15 Bayern Munich's Jerome Boateng reacts REUTERS/Ina Fassbender(reuters_tickers)
BERLIN (Reuters) - People in Germany would not want soccer star Jerome Boateng, born in Berlin from a Ghanaian father, as their neighbour, Alexander Gauland, vice chair of anti-immigration party, Alternative for Germany, said in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper on Sunday.
"People find him good as a football player but they don't want a Boateng as their neighbour," Gauland told the Sunday edition of the newspaper.
Bayern Munich defender Boateng is a stalwart of Germany's national football team and is likely to feature in Germany's starting eleven at next month's European Championship, along with third-generation Turkish-German winger Mesut Özil and other players with non-exclusively German backgrounds.
Disenchantment with the chancellor Angela Merkel's welcoming stance towards refugees helped to propel the anti-immigration Alternative for Germany to strong results in regional elections this year.
Gauland's comments come days after supporters of German anti-Islam group Pegida criticised a confectioner's decision to print images of non-white soccer players on its chocolate bars instead of the usual picture of a blond-haired, blue-eyed boy.
(Reporting By Francesco Canepa. Editing by Jane Merriman)