Romelu Lukaku is back at Internazionale after a complete failure at Chelsea. It was the Red Devil’s great dream to one day return to the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza and that wish has come true this summer. In Milan, Lukaku is returning to his best sporting level, but it is clear that he will have to work very hard to win back the hearts of the fans. Especially those of the ultras in the Curva Nord Milano.
During his first stint with Internazionale, Romelu Lukaku was by far one of the most popular players in the championship team. But when he made a sudden transfer to Chelsea last year, despite his promise to stay at Internazionale, he was relegated straight to persona non grata at the Curva Nord Milano. “Those who flee when it rains do not count. What counts are the ones who stay when it storms,” Inter’s ultras communicated after his flirtation with Chelsea. “Farewell, Romelu!” it read on a banner at the Curva Nord.
The disappointed fans also smeared a mural of the Red Devil at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza. “There’s one thing you should never do: make a promise you can’t keep,” Diego Milito said at the time La Gazzetta dello Sport, who showed understanding for the emotional action of the ardent supporters. “A player like Lukaku, who has given so much, may decide to go elsewhere, but the fans are disappointed by those kinds of statements.” Despite this, Lukaku always had great hopes of ever returning to the Nerazzurri.
That became apparent during his much-discussed interview last season Sky Italy. ‘Inter scusa se ti chiamo amore’. “Inter, sorry if I call you my love.” Romelu Lukaku then declared – as a player under contract to Chelsea – his great love for Internazionale and the main purpose of this interview was to make it clear to the Milan fans that he could not refuse Chelsea’s offer last summer. However gladly and successfully he defended the colors of Internazionale. “I have always said that Inter is in my heart. I really hope I can return to play there someday. I fell in love with Italy.”
THE TREASURY STILL RISES HIGH
After much lobbying and tough negotiations, in which Romelu Lukaku even handed in a significant part of his wages, the Red Devil returned to Internazionale this season on a rental basis. “In March, when I heard there was a chance to return to Inter, I didn’t say anything. It was only after the end of the season, after the last games, that I really started to think about my future. I felt it was going to be a difficult story at Chelsea as well, so I decided to come back to Inter,” Lukaku said in his “return interview.” DAZN.
But the Red Devil also realized that he would have to launch a big charm offensive to win back the hearts of the Inter supporters. The smeared mural and the inexorable banners to his address last year were not for nothing. “At the same time I want to apologize for the way I left them, but in the end I have to speak on the pitch and hope that with my performance the love will return as usual.” It was already clear then that the fans of Internazionale would not welcome him with open arms.
Just after the return of Romelu Lukaku to Internazionale was officially announced, Curva Nord sent out a communication unsurprisingly. “Curva Nord supports Inter and will not object to the player (despite the behavior of last summer). That is why no one should go and welcome him with scarves or banners. Everything that will be done for him in the future, he will have to earn with humility and sweat on the field. Also let it be clear to everyone that we will never cheer for Lukaku if he wears the Inter shirt again. However, we invite all Inter fans not to fall into the reverse trap either, to immediately start salivating after him. We learned of Lukaku’s betrayal (through his transfer to Chelsea last summer, ed.) and were very ill.”
PAINFUL RETURN IN MILAN
And yet not all Inter fans take the same stance as the Curva Nord. When Romelu Lukaku landed in Milan this summer to complete his transfer, fans were already waiting for him at the airport. Even when he then took his medical tests at the Humanitas hospital, about fifty fans showed up. And in both cases the atmosphere was positive. On the opening day of the Serie A, Lukaku immediately opened his account in and against Lecce and afterwards he blew kisses to the supporters who traveled along and he was even treated to applause.
Romelu Lukaku has clearly started his charm offensive, but it was mainly a question of how the supporters, and especially the Curva Nord, would welcome him during his first game in the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza. Last Saturday was the day and it was then noticed that several fans still remain very hard on Lukaku, as the only Inter player not to have his name chanted by the Curva Nord during the line-up presentation for the home game against Spezia. “He was supported (and treated) like a king, now he is one of many,” it said in a statement on social media.
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