In our countdown of the Top 20 Inter players in the last 20 years, we recognise title winning forward Romelu Lukaku in 18th spot.
Big Rom as he’s better known was incredible in his only two seasons at Inter. The Belgian striker was able to score 64 goals in 95 appearances for Inter in all competitions.
Let’s dive a bit further into Lukaku’s Inter career –
The revival –
You could say that Lukaku came to Inter as a broken man. He had just come off a tough couple of seasons at Manchester United where he really struggled to make his mark. Romelu was completely down on confidence, badly overweight and the majority of people didn’t know what to expect.
For those apart of the Inter board and majorly Antonio Conte, there was never any doubt in Lukaku as they knew the signing would pay off positively. Especially since the money being spent was excess of the €70mil mark so a lot of faith was shown.
From Day 1, Romelu showed off the pitch how professional he really was. First of all, being able to lose 3kgs in twelve days after being called “overweight” and fat shamed with shirtless pictures in the media.
Lukaku was determined to prove all his haters wrong, and also make all Inter fans around the world love him to bits. On both of those fronts he definitely succeeded.
“Uno di noi” –
We had found the greatest replacement for Icardi we could’ve ever wished for. It didn’t take long before we came to that realization saying “Mauro who?”. A completely different attitude, a team first mentality and an overall loveable character shown from Big Rom.
The headed goal against Milan in Lukaku’s fourth game sealed the deal, and he was one of us!
First season –
Lukaku would go on to score a total of 34 goals in 51 appearances in his first season at Inter.
Serie A – 23 goals in 36 matches
Champions League – 2 goals in 5 matches
Europa League – 7 goals in 6 matches
Coppa Italia – 2 goals in 4 matches
Inter would finish in second by one point, and more importantly being a title contender for the first time in a decade. Also, just missing out on winning the Europa League if not for a fantastic match from Sevilla.
Lukaku played a massive part in making this all possible, and all Inter fans were extremely grateful and forgiving even after the loss to Sevilla.
Second season –
This is where the magic happened for Inter and Lukaku, and all Interisti knew before the season kicked off that the Scudetto would be ours!
Lukaku was a beast for Inter in the 2020/21 season, and his stats were phenomenal. Notching up 24 goals and 11 assists in 36 matches is something to behold.
Only the great Cristiano Ronaldo was able to score more goals in Italy than Big Rom. For assists Lukaku also finished 2nd, which is very rare that a player contributes so much in scoring and assisting.
Midway through the season, Inter bombed out of the Champions League again. Even with Lukaku’s 4 goals in 5 matches, it was not enough to allow the Nerazzurri to progress to the next round. Probably the best thing at the time since dropping out from European football completely helped the team concentrate on Italian football.
Romelu was making his mark on the field, as the Belgian went straight back to work after the terrible Champions League exit. Scoring crucial goals against Cagliari, Napoli and Spezia really getting Inter back on track.
A couple of months later, Lukaku was ready to cash in again with some great form. In season-defining matches again Lazio (4th at the time) and Milan (2nd at the time) we saw Big Rom step up and prove his worth. Adding to his tally with 3 goals and 2 assists in those two matches where Inter took all six points.
From that point on, Romelu Lukaku would be known as the “King of Milano” and the rest is history.
The legacy he leaves –
Although Lukaku has now moved on and is no longer an Inter player, we still thank him for everything he gave. In the two seasons he played with Inter, he always gave his all for the jersey and loved the club and the fans with everything he had.
We can see that many players at our club have become better since Lukaku joined, and that’s all we can ask for.
Lautaro Martinez would’ve learned so much working Lukaku and building that strong partnership known as LuLa. It really is a shame we won’t see that partnership this season, or maybe ever again.
I can only be grateful that Lukaku took us to the highest point in Italian football. Even though we may not have reached the heights in Europe, we have built a strong base for the future.
Big Rom wanted to go back to his home Chelsea, and it would be selfish of us to not want him to follow his dreams. Inter were able to cash in for €115mil and it’s a deal which suits both parties.
Maybe we’ll see Big Rom again in the black and blue one day. Never say never, because it was an absolute pleasure to see this guy represent our colours!
We will be visiting number 17 next on our countdown. Who would you like to see in that number 17 spot for the Top 20 Inter players in the past 20 years?
As always Forza Inter!