Romelu Lukaku calls £98m return to Chelsea as a 'chance of a lifetime'
Romelu Lukaku begs furious Inter Milan fans to ‘understand’ his return to Chelsea in gushing open letter after ultras defaced his mural and accused him of leaving for the money… but £98m striker insists move was ‘the chance of a lifetime’
- Chelsea completed the £98million signing of Romelu Lukaku on Friday night
- The Belgian was superb for Inter Milan last season in guiding them to the title
- Fans were angry at his exit but he asked for understanding in an open letter
Romelu Lukaku has called the opportunity to return to Chelsea as the ‘chance of a lifetime’ as he asks for forgiveness in an open letter to Inter Milan fans.
Lukaku sealed a £98million return to Stamford Bridge on Friday having guided Inter to their first Serie A title in a decade last season.
Inter’s finances have seen them lose boss Antonio Conte as well as two of their stars in Lukaku and Achraf Hakimi which has left fans furious.
But Lukaku wanted to focus on the positives of his ‘beautiful story’ at Inter in an open letter to fans that was released on social media on Sunday morning.
Romelu Lukaku completed a £98million return to Chelsea last week which upset Inter fans
Lukaku addressed the Italian club’s supporters in an open letter released on his social media
He wrote: ‘Dear Inter fans, Thank you. Thank you for loving me as one of your own. Thank you for making me and my family feel at home in Milano.
‘Thank you for the unconditional support and love on a daily basis. Thank you for motivating me even more after the first season.
‘When I came to Inter, I immediately felt that I would do well for this club.
‘The love and reception I first received at Malpensa airport was the start of a beautiful story. I made it my mission to never let you down every time I wore the Inter shirt.
‘I gave 100% in every training session and every game so that I could make you proud.’
He went on to add: ‘I hope you guys understand my decision to move on to Chelsea.
‘It’s a chance of a lifetime for me and I think at this time of my career it is a chance that I always dreamed of.’
His letter comes after a mural of him outside the San Siro stadium was defaced by Inter Milan supporters.
Romelu Lukaku’s mural outside the San Siro was defaced by Inter Milan supporters last week
Inter fans also produced a banner attacking their club, saying: ‘You have broken our balls’
The mural showed Lukaku pointing two fingers in the air towards the Inter Milan badge and the Italian flag, and most of the phrase ‘Dear Milano, you’re welcome’ has been blocked out with black paint, barring the word ‘Milano’.
Inter Milan’s main ultra group in the Curva Nord are responsible for the vandalism of the mural, created for the Belgian when he first joined the club in 2019 from Manchester United.
And a message on the group’s Facebook page to the departing Belgian striker read: ‘Dear Lukaku, we expected more honest and transparent behaviour from you.
‘But, despite the fact we protected you like a son, like one of us, you too proved yourself to be just like all the rest, going to your knees for money. We wish you the best, even if greed doesn’t always pay.’
Meanwhile, a banner next to the mural directed towards the Inter hierarchy, led by Chinese club president Steven Zhang, 29, read: ‘You have broken all our balls’.
Lukaku was sensational for Inter last season in which his goals fired them to the league title
Lukaku is quarantining and missed Saturday’s win over Crystal Palace, but could make his debut against Arsenal next Sunday.
Accusations that Lukaku returned to Chelsea purely for the money were strenously denied by his agent, Federico Pastorello.
In a statement Pastorello said: ‘The narrative – that Lukaku’s transfer was ‘engineered’ and ‘forced’ just to pander to financial interests – is leading everyone absolutely astray.
‘Where Lukaku has never publicly expressed any unease or discontent about his experience at FC Internazionale, his contractual situation or the well known events of the Club, the interest of Chelsea has really touched Romelu’s soul from the very first moment because that club means to him something unique and special.
Lukaku’s agent Federico Pastorello (left) said that his family received threats before the move
‘In recent days I have seen a video from 2009 in which the 16- year-old visited the Stamford Bridge stadium with his school and swore that one day he would play on that pitch.
‘I recommend everyone to watch it carefully: it’s impressive how clearly a 16-year-old boy was already drawing his future. He wanted to wear that shirt, he succeeded when he was only 18 and unfortunately he left before he could make his mark and win something important.
‘This challenge remained like a bug in his heart and mind for all these years. And when, almost unexpectedly, the opportunity to try again came up – at the age of 28 after two seasons as a main player with FC Internazionale – he almost didn’t believe it.
‘It was a chance to come full circle and being the exemplary professional that he is, he decided it was time to accept that challenge again.’
LUKAKU’S OPEN LETTER IN FULL
Dear Inter fans,
Thank you for loving me as one of your own.
Thank you for making me and my family feel at home in Milano.
Thank you for the unconditional support and love on a daily basis.
Thank you for motivating me even more after the first season.
When I came to Inter, I immediately felt that I would do well for this club.
The love and reception I first received at Malpensa airport was the start of a beautiful story.
I made it my mission to never let you down every time I wore the Inter shirt.
I gave 100% in every training session and every game so that I could make you proud.
Our first season ended in the toughest possible way, but you guys gave me the strength to continue to keep pushing and we did as a team. That’s why we became champions together.
I hope you guys understand my decision to move on to Chelsea. It’s a chance of a lifetime for me and I think at this time of my career it is a chance that I always dreamed of.
One thing is for sure and that is that I will always remain a Interista, because without you I wouldn’t be the player or man I am today.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
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