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regular-article-logo Thursday, 13 June 2024

Romelu Lukaku’s arrival at Roma rekindles memories of Gabriel Batistuta’s move to Giallorossi

30-year-old will be reunited with Roma manager Jose Mourinho, who worked with him at Chelsea and Manchester United

AP/PTI, Reuters Rome Published 01.09.23, 08:54 AM
Romelu Lukaku, who has joined AS Roma on a year's loan, with the club jersey.

Romelu Lukaku, who has joined AS Roma on a year's loan, with the club jersey. X

For a brief period this week, the plane carrying Romelu Lukaku from London to Rome via Brussels was the most followed flight in the world.

Nearly 50,000 people — almost all of them likely devoted Roma fans — picked out the Gulfstream G650 flown by Roma’s American president and pilot Dan Friedkin at one point on the Flight Radar 24 site.

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It’s a measure of how much Lukaku’s season-long loan deal from Chelsea means to Roma and its rabid supporters.

Some 5,000 yellow-and-red clad fans were waiting at Rome’s Ciampino airport to welcome Lukaku, Friedkin and Roma general manager Tiago Pinto to the Italian capital on Tuesday.

Not since perhaps Gabriel Batistuta was brought in to help Roma win its last Serie A title in 2001 has a centre-forward’s arrival been so celebrated for the Giallorossi.

“The welcome I’ve received from this club and its fans has excited me and given me even more motivation to give my all for my new team,” Lukaku said when the deal was finalised on Thursday.

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