Romelu Lukaku has not started any of Inter Milan’s Champions League matches this season, but he has made seven substitute appearances — featuring in every match for which he was available and uninjured, including each and every knockout round leg — and he has contributed with three goals and an assist in those seven appearances.
Said assist came on Lautaro Martínez’s goal in last night’s 1-0 win over AC Milan in the second leg of the semifinals, giving Inter a 3-0 aggregate victory and a place in the final on June 10. They will not be favored against either Real Madrid or Manchester City, but you never know what may be written in the stars.
Lukaku himself will surely remember the 2012 final, which he observed from the Chelsea bench and which left him with conflicting emotions. He celebrated the team’s success wholeheartedly but famously refused to touch the trophy since he had “no part in it all” (he had been left off our European squad and he never forgave André Villas-Boas for that).
Perhaps this time he can finish the story, just like his idol Didier Drogba did eleven years ago.