Thibaut Courtois backing Inter for UCL title for sake of Romelu Lukaku
By Martin Graham | 26th May 2023
Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has stated that he wants Internazionale to beat Manchester City to the UEFA Champions League title come 10 June 2023 because of his international teammate Romelu Lukaku.
Lukaku has endured a torrid few years in his career. His troubles started after he left Everton for Manchester United in 2017 for a hefty fee. While he put up healthy numbers, he was not a hit with the Old Trafford faithful who cherry-picked everything he did in his time at the club.
Inter would offer him some succour after two tough seasons and in his second year at the club, Lukaku would repay their faith by leading them to the Serie A title after helping them to the final of the 2019/20 UEFA Europa League. That was his first title in a top-five league and his second-ever league title, following the one he won while he played for RSC Anderlecht in Belgium before his move to England.
Lukaku would betray the trust of Inter fans by moving to Chelsea, the club of his dreams, after winning the Serie A title. The former Everton man would go on to rattle the whole Chelsea fanbase with an apology interview where he also talked down on the style of management of then-manager Thomas Tuchel, leading to his ostracisation and eventual return to Inter, where he was welcomed with open arms.
Inter has proven to be his good luck charm. His confidence has returned and he is back to winning titles. Inter have already clinched the Coppa Italia and could do the double for the first time in a long time if they beat Man City in the upcoming showcase of European football.
Courtois, whose team was knocked out of the semi-final by Man City to prevent them from meeting up with Lukaku in Turkey at the Atatürk Olympic Stadium, has now expressed a desire for his teammate to win it since he cannot win it. Kevin De Bruyne, another international teammate of Courtois’, plies his trade for Manchester City but this did not change the goalkeeper’s sentiments.
“I hope Romelu can win it. Obviously, it’s him against Kevin, but I’ve known Romelu for a bit longer,” Courtois said.
Courtois and Lukaku spent some time at Chelsea before the Inter striker moved on to other Premier League clubs. This explains the bit about both of them knowing each other for longer. However, it is with De Bruyne that Courtois has a deeper history.
His thoughts about who he would prefer to win the title could mean that there are still some unsettled feelings between both men and spur the Manchester City midfielder to play the game of his career to spite the Real Madrid shot-stopper.
Meanwhile, Lukaku has picked up form for Inter in the last few matches, and just in time.
He has seven goals and three assists in the last seven games for the team as they clinched the Coppa Italia title and made it all the way to the Champions League final.