Lukaku: "Racism? If you want the best players, you need to welcome with open arms. It's important to appreciate and not discriminate"
In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Romelu Lukaku talks about his arrival i Milan, the gratitude towards Inter fans and his firm rejection against racism.
“Ever since I signed for Inter, there have been a lot of fans who are really excited for my arrival. They contacted me, sent me direct messages on Instagram. When I arrived for the first time from Brussels, there was a lot of people waiting for me. They immediately encouraged me, shouted my name. I want to thank them for the support that they have given me since I got here.”
Joining Inter, living in Milan, is it a sporting or a lifestyle choice?
“First of all, my decision is about the sporting aspect. Inter were the club that I wanted to play for in Italy, their coach was an important factor in my decision. Besides the fact that I knew the team had some excellent players. But even from the point of view of my family, it was also a good decision because my brother is already here. I think Italy is a nice place to live, I am a person who likes to discover different cultures: not only playing in different football leagues but learning different cultures. That’s why I’m very happy to be here.”
The slogan of Inter is Not For Everyone. So Lukaku is not for everyone as well?
“No, come on, I’m good with everyone. But in my opinion, the slogan is perfect for the club because Inter fans are extremely loyal and it’s not something that everyone has. The support for this club is handed down from generation to generation: every game the stadium is full, always the same people the same seats. And it’s great to be part of it, to be part of a club loved so much by its fans.”
Are you worried about racism in Italian football? (This interview was conducted before Cagliari-Inter)
“I think it was great for the club to launch BUU campaign. And if they want my contribution (to fight racism), I’ll be there. If I hear racist chants, I will respond. But my thoughts today are on the football pitch, to help my teammates win.”
Do you think a player should leave the pitch in case of racism during a game?
“No, but I think he must take a stand. Because racism is something that must be responded to. Just look at England, where several episodes happened to Manchester United and Chelsea players in recent weeks: this question must be addressed. Football is international, multicultural. If you want to attract the best players in the world, you must welcome them with open arms, because these players must adapt to the culture as well. Therefore, it is fundamental not to discriminate, and to appreciate what one brings in his presence.”
Source: Rolling Stones