Romelu Lukaku’s agent, Federico Pastorello promised to explain Lukaku’s decision to leave Inter Milan and join Chelsea despite declaring strong intentions to do the opposite earlier this summer, and the agent has now delivered that explanation in a lengthy statement posted on Instagram in both Italian and English.
One might say neither agent nor player owe any one of us such an explanation, especially as Pastorello reveals that some of the reaction to the transfer has been well over the line, including “falsehoods, insinuations, insults and threats [which] have far exceeded the limits of civilisation, decency and tolerance”. But he wanted to set the public record straight, and that’s certainly commendable.
“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.
“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.
“The 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.
“Believe it or not, the supporters’ affection and the special bond with the city of Milan made him think about it for a long time: but then, once he made his decision, he carried on with conviction and firmness.”
While Pastorello acknowledges that the “economic aspect” was certainly not an unwelcome feature of the transfer, it was not the “main factor”.
The agent also confirms that the decision at Inter to do this deal came from upon high, and urges the Nerazzurri faithful to look back on the previous two years with fondness rather than with anger.
“With regards to FC Internazionale, I can guarantee that the Sport CEO Giuseppe Marotta, the Sporting Director Piero Ausilio – as well as coach Simone Inzaghi, who worked at this personally – did everything in their power to avoid this transfer. But there are circumstances that go beyond their decision-making range and depend on the instructions of the owners.
“I conclude my thought with a reflection on that day two years ago when Romelu Lukaku signed for Internazionale. At that time many of those who today insult me and threaten me, thanked me wholeheartedly for bringing him to Milan. If they had told you: ‘Romelu, after scoring more than 60 goals in two seasons, bringing the Club back to the top with his teammates, playing in the Europa League final and winning the Italian league title that has been missing since 2010, being named MVP of the Europa League and Serie A, will leave the Nerazzurri bringing into the Club finances a record sum for the Italian football market’ what would you have done? Would you have signed up for it straight away or not?”
-Federico Pastorello; source: Instagram
As we celebrate Lukaku’s arrival, let us also take this experience as an opportunity to be better as fans, now and in the future. After all, football is only the most important of the less important things in life.