Romelu Lukaku has thanked Inter fans for their support over the past two years, but begged them to understand his ‘chance of a lifetime’ decision to leave San Siro and rejoin Chelsea this summer.
The 28-year-old completed his £97.5m move back to Stamford Bridge on Thursday, returning to the club where he first rose to prominence in Europe a decade ago.
Lukaku has spoken of his joy in joining Chelsea this summer, but he took the time on Sunday to pen a heartfelt letter to Inter supporters to say an emotional goodbye.
The Belgian thanked the Interisti for their support and love, but asked them to understand his desire for a ‘chance of a lifetime’ return to the place he once called home.
“Thank you for loving me as one of your own. Thank you for making me and my family feel at home in Milano. Thank you for the unconditional support and love on a daily basis. Thank you for motivating me even more after the first season,” Lukaku wrote.
“When I came to Inter, I immediately felt that I would do well for this club. The love and reception I received at Malpensa airport was the start of a beautiful story. “I made it my mission to never let you down every time I wore the Inter shirt. I gave 100% in every training session and every game so that I could make you proud.
“Our first season ended in the toughest possible way, but you guys gave me the strength to continue to keep pushing and we did it as a team. That’s why we became champions together.
“I hope you guys understand my decision to move on to Chelsea. It’s a chance of a lifetime for me and I think at this time in my career, it’s the chance I have always dreamed of. One thing is for sure and that is that I will always remain an Interista, because without you I wouldn’t be the player or man I am today.
“Thank you for loving me as one of your own. Thank you for making me and my family feel at home in Milano.”
– Romelu Lukaku’s message to Inter fans
“Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I love you. Thank you so much. Always, Forza Inter!”
Lukaku then posted an image of he and his former teammates holding the Serie A trophy aloft, a triumph he was integral part of last season. He fired 24 goals for Inter in their title-winning season, reaffirming his place among the most prolific forwards in Europe.
His goals have earned him a lucrative return to Chelsea, the club he left in 2014, having struggled to gain sufficient game time as a talented young player. The Blues have now forked out a club-record fee for the Belgian, who they hope will fire them to Premier League title glory under Thomas Tuchel.