Lukaku training with Everton in 2014
|Full name||Romelu Menama Lukaku|
|Date of birth||13 May 1993|
|Place of birth||Antwerp, Belgium|
|Height||1.90 m (6 ft 3 in)|
|2012–2013||→ West Bromwich Albion (loan)||35||(17)|
|2013–2014||→ Everton (loan)||31||(15)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 11 February 2017 (UTC).
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 13 November 2016
Romelu Menama Lukaku (born 13 May 1993) is a Belgian professional footballer who plays as a striker for Premier League club Everton and the Belgium national team. He is one of only five players to score 50 Premier League goals before his 23rd birthday.
Lukaku started his career with local side Rupel Boom, before joining Lierse, where he earned a move to Anderlecht of the Belgian Pro League in 2006. Lukaku made his professional debut while still at school at the age of 16, and became the 2009–10 top scorer in Belgium as Anderlecht won the Belgian championship. He also won the Belgian Ebony Shoe in 2011. In the 2011 summer transfer window, Lukaku joined Premier League club Chelsea. He did not appear regularly in his first season there, and spent the following two seasons on loan at West Bromwich Albion and Everton respectively, signing permanently for the latter for a club record £28 million in 2014.
- 1 Club career
- 2 International career
- 3 Style of play
- 4 Personal life
- 5 Career statistics
- 6 Honours
- 7 References
- 8 External links
Lukaku joined his local team Rupel Boom at the age of five. After four seasons at Rupel Boom, Lukaku was discovered by scouts of Lierse SK, a Belgian Pro League team with an established youth academy. He played for Lierse from 2004 until 2006, scoring 121 goals in 68 games. After Lierse were relegated from the Belgian Pro League, Anderlecht bought no fewer than 13 youth players from Lierse in the 2006 mid-season, one of whom was Lukaku. He played three more years as a youth player with Anderlecht, scoring 131 goals in 93 games.
When Lukaku turned 16 on 13 May 2009, he signed a professional contract with Anderlecht lasting until 2012. and 11 days later, he made his Belgian First Division debut on 24 May 2009 in the championship play off match against Standard Liège as a 69th-minute substitute for defender Víctor Bernárdez. Anderlecht lost the match 1–0.
Lukaku became a regular member of Anderlecht's first team during the 2009–10 season, scoring his first goal at senior level against Zulte Waregem in the 89th minute after coming on as substitute for Kanu on 28 August 2009. "After scoring I dived into a sea of happiness," he told Berend Scholten from UEFA.com. "You think you are flying and can take on the whole world."  He ended the season as the top goalscorer in the Pro League with 15 goals as Anderlecht won its 30th Belgian title. He also scored four goals during the club's run to the quarter-finals of the Europa League.
In August 2011, Lukaku joined English club Chelsea for a fee reported to be around €12 million (£10 million), rising to €20 million (£17 million) in add-ons. Lukaku was given the number 18 shirt and signed a five-year contract. He made his home debut in a 3–1 victory over Norwich City in the 83rd minute, coming on as a substitute for Fernando Torres.
Lukaku made his first start for the club in the League Cup against Fulham. Chelsea went on to win the match on penalties. Lukaku spent the majority of the season playing for the reserves. On 13 May 2012, he started his first Premier League match, against Blackburn Rovers, and turned in a man of the match performance, providing an assist for John Terry's opener. Lukaku stressed, however, that he was disappointed with his involvement at the end of his debut season, revealing that, after his side's UEFA Champions League win on 19 May, he refused to hold the trophy as he didn't feel like a winner.
West Bromwich Albion (loan)
After speculation linking Lukaku to a loan move to Fulham, on 10 August 2012, he joined West Bromwich Albion on a season-long loan deal. He scored his first league goal eight days later, coming on as a substitute in the 77th minute in a 3–0 win against Liverpool. He made his full debut in a win against Reading at The Hawthorns, scoring the game's only goal.
On 24 November, Lukaku came on as a 70th-minute substitute for Shane Long and netted a penalty and provided an assist to Marc-Antoine Fortuné, as West Brom defeated Sunderland 4–2 away at the Stadium of Light. The win proved to be West Brom's fourth consecutive win in the top flight for the first time since 1980. On 12 January 2013, Lukaku had his first multi-goal game in the Premier League, giving West Brom a 0–2 lead against Reading, before a late comeback gave the Berkshire club a 3–2 victory at the Madejski Stadium.
In the face of claims that he wanted to stay with West Brom for another year asserted by British newspaper the Daily Mail, Lukaku confirmed to the press that he still wished to become a legend at Stamford Bridge. On 11 February, Lukaku came on off the bench and scored his tenth Premier League goal of the season against Liverpool in a match that ended 2–0. He scored his second brace of the campaign, scoring both goals for West Brom in their 2–1 home defeat of Sunderland on 23 February. On 9 March, in a league match against Swansea City, Lukaku scored the equalising goal before having a penalty kick saved; West Brom eventually won the game courtesy of a Jonathan de Guzmán own goal. On 19 May, coming on as a second-half substitute, Lukaku scored an incredible second-half perfect hat-trick, as West Brom came from three goals down to draw 5–5 in the season's final home game against Manchester United. The game was Sir Alex Ferguson's 1,500th and last match in charge of United and the highest scoring draw in the history of the Premier League. Despite being loaned out by the club, Lukaku outscored all of his Chelsea teammates in the Premier League that season, being the sixth-highest goal scorer of the 2012–13 season with 17 goals.
Lukaku seemed to rule out a further loan spell, and played two league games for Chelsea at the beginning of the 2013–14 season. He also came on as a substitute in the 2013 UEFA Super Cup, ultimately missing the deciding penalty in the shootout as Chelsea lost to Bayern Munich.
2013–14 season (loan)
However, on the final day of the summer 2013 transfer window, he joined Everton on a season-long loan. The striker made his début for the Toffees away to West Ham United on 21 September 2013, scoring the winning goal in a 3–2 victory for Everton. During the header, he had a collision with a West Ham defender and was taken off the pitch for some treatment. The physio had to tell him that he had scored the winner. He scored twice on his home début nine days later in a 3–2 win against Newcastle United, as well assisting Ross Barkley's goal. He then opened the scoring in a 3–1 defeat to Manchester City in the following game. He continued his impressive start at the club by netting the opening goal in a 2–0 win over Aston Villa and then scored twice in the first Merseyside derby of the season as Everton drew 3–3 against Liverpool, with Lukaku stating afterwards that it was the best experience he has had in his short career.
In January 2014, he was named by The Guardian as one of the ten most promising young players in Europe, but later in the month was taken off on a stretcher with an ankle ligament damage after Gareth Barry slipped and slid into the striker as he attempted to block Steven Gerrard's opening goal in the Merseyside derby. Lukaku made his return from injury against West Ham United in March 2014, scoring the only goal of the match on the 81st minute after coming on as a second-half substitute. On 6 April, he scored one goal and assisted another as Everton beat Arsenal 3–0 at Goodison Park to record a sixth consecutive Premier League win. His final goal for the loan period came on the last day of the season as he scored the second in a 2–0 win over Hull City. Lukaku found the net 15 times in 31 league games to help Everton to fifth place with a club record of 72 Premier League points.
Lukaku had signed a five-year deal with Everton in July 2014, for a club record fee of £28 million, and he was assigned the number 10 shirt. He scored his first goal as a permanent player on 13 September, against his former club West Bromwich Albion. Lukaku chose not to celebrate the goal, and was applauded by the West Bromwich Albion fans for his sign of respect.
On 19 February 2015, Lukaku scored his first Everton hat-trick in a 4–1 win for Everton against BSC Young Boys in the UEFA Europa League last 32; he struck with a header, a right-foot shot and a left-foot shot. He added another two goals in a 3–1 win in the second leg a week later. With eight goals, he was the tournament's joint highest scorer that season, alongside Alan of FC Red Bull Salzburg.
Lukaku scored a first-half double in Everton's 0–3 win at Southampton on 15 August 2015 with his first two shots on target. Before the match, he presented a T-shirt to a home fan whom he had accidentally struck with the ball during shooting practice. On 26 August, he scored another brace in a 5–3 extra-time win over League One side Barnsley in the League Cup.
On 28 September, Lukaku scored twice and assisted the other against West Brom as he managed to guide his team from losing 2–0 to winning 2–3. He scored against Liverpool the following week in a 1–1 draw at Goodison Park. On 21 November, Lukaku scored twice in a 4–0 win over Aston Villa, becoming the fifth player under 23 years of age to score at least 50 Premier League goals, after Robbie Fowler, Michael Owen, Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo. On 7 December, Lukaku scored a close-range goal in a 1–1 draw against Crystal Palace, his 50th in 100 appearances in all competitions for Everton.
On 12 December, Lukaku became the first Everton player to score in six consecutive Premier League matches, and the first to score in seven consecutive matches in all competitions since Bob Latchford 40 years previously when he opened the scoring in the Toffees' 1–1 draw with Norwich City at Carrow Road. In his next game, a 3–2 defeat to Leicester City, Lukaku became the first Everton player since Dave Hickson in 1954 to score in 8 consecutive games.
On 6 February 2016, Lukaku scored his 20th goal of the season in a 0–3 victory at Stoke City, meaning that he was the first Everton player since Graeme Sharp to score at least 20 goals in all competitions in consecutive seasons for Everton. The strike was also his 16th league goal of the season, equalling Premier League goal scoring records for Everton set by Tony Cottee and Andrei Kanchelskis in the mid-1990s. Lukaku followed this goal up with another strike in a 0–2 victory at Bournemouth's Dean Court for his 21st goal of the season, this victory sent Everton into the quarter-final of the FA Cup and equalled the number of goals scored in all competitions by Yakubu Aiyegbeni for Everton in the 2007–08 season, the previous best in the Premier League era.
On 1 March, Lukaku scored in a 1–3 victory at Villa Park, his 17th league goal of the season, a Premier League-era record for Everton. The goal also meant Lukaku had equalled his previous best goal return in a league season, set during his loan spell at West Brom in the 2012–13 season.
On 12 September 2016, Lukaku ended his drought of 1,139 minutes without a goal, as he went on to score a hat-trick and help his side beat former Everton manager David Moyes's Sunderland. He scored his hat-trick in 11 minutes and 37 seconds, making it the 12th quickest in Premier League history. His performance earned him the Man of the Match award. Lukaku also scored the first and assisted the second in Everton F.C.'s 2–0 win against West Ham United F.C. on 30 October 2016.  Lukaku scored four goals, the first of which was Everton' fastest ever Premier League goal, against Bournemouth in a 6–3 victory at Goodison Park on 4 February 2017. 
On 24 February 2010, Lukaku was named for the first time in the Belgium squad for a friendly match against Croatia. On 17 November 2010, he scored his first two international goals in a friendly against Russia.
Lukaku scored his first goal in almost two years for the national team, netting the winner in a 4–2 friendly victory over rivals the Netherlands on 15 August 2012. On 11 October 2013, Lukaku scored two goals as Belgium defeated Croatia 2–1 to secure a place in the World Cup finals.
In May 2014, Lukaku was named in Belgium's squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. On 26 May, he scored his first international hat-trick in a pre-tournament friendly against neighbouring Luxembourg; however, as Belgium made seven substitutions during this match instead of the permitted six, it was not recognised as an official match by FIFA. On 1 June, he scored first of Belgium's two goals in the 2–0 victory in a friendly match against Sweden.
In their first game of the tournament, a 2–1 win against Algeria in Belo Horizonte, Lukaku started the match and played 58 minutes before being replaced by Divock Origi. In the round of 16, Lukaku came on as a substitute prior to extra time and assisted Kevin De Bruyne's opening goal three minutes later. In the 105th minute, he scored his first goal of the tournament as Belgium defeated the United States 2–1.
Style of play
Lukaku is a left-footed player, who in 2014 was named by The Guardian as one of the ten most promising young players in Europe. Lukaku has also been known to use his physicality to get around defenders.
Lukaku was born in Antwerp, a city in northern Belgium to Congolese parents. His father, Roger Lukaku, played professional football and was capped at international level by Zaire. He has a younger brother named Jordan, who has progressed through the youth academy at Anderlecht. His cousin Boli Bolingoli-Mbombo plays for Club Brugge. Lukaku was the subject of an acclaimed television documentary series called De School Van Lukaku (Lukaku's School) shown on the Dutch-speaking Eén network. The reality show followed the teenage Lukaku and his classmates during the course of a year at the Saint-Guidon Institute, a school in Brussels, where the footballer was based while with the Anderlecht youth team. In 2009, the series followed the school as it made a field trip to London visiting Chelsea's Stamford Bridge ground. Lukaku said at the time “What a stadium. If one day in my life I will cry, it will be the day I play here. I love Chelsea.” In addition to his native French and Dutch, Lukaku can speak fluent English, Portuguese, Spanish, and a Congolese Swahili dialect, and can also understand German.
|Club||Season||League||National Cup||League Cup||Europe||Total|
|Anderlecht||2008–09||Belgian First Division||1||0||0||0||—||0||0||1||0|
|2009–10||Belgian Pro League||33||15||1||0||—||11[a]||4||45||19|
|2010–11||Belgian Pro League||37||16||2||0||—||11[b]||4||50||20|
|2011–12||Belgian Pro League||2||2||0||0||—||0||0||2||2|
|West Bromwich Albion (Loan)||2012–13||Premier League||35||17||2||0||1||0||—||38||17|
|Everton (loan)||2013–14||Premier League||31||15||1||1||1||0||—||33||16|
- As of match played 13 November 2016. Belgium score listed first, score column indicates score after each Lukaku goal.
|1||17 November 2010||Tsentralnyi Profsoyuz Stadion, Voronezh, Russia||8||Russia||1–0||2–0||Friendly|
|3||15 August 2012||King Baudouin Stadium, Brussels, Belgium||16||Netherlands||3–2||4–2|
|4||11 October 2013||Stadion Maksimir, Zagreb, Croatia||22||Croatia||1–0||2–1||2014 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|6||1 June 2014||Friends Arena, Solna, Sweden||27||Sweden||1–0||2–0||Friendly|
|7||1 July 2014||Itaipava Arena Fonte Nova, Salvador, Brazil||31||United States||2–0 (a.e.t.)||2–1 (a.e.t.)||2014 FIFA World Cup|
|8||12 November 2014||King Baudouin Stadium, Brussels, Belgium||35||Iceland||3–1||3–1||Friendly|
|9||29 March 2016||Estádio Dr. Magalhães Pessoa, Leiria, Portugal||41||Portugal||1–2||1–2|
|10||28 May 2016||Stade de Genève, Geneva, Switzerland||42||Switzerland||1–1||2–1|
|11||1 June 2016||King Baudouin Stadium, Brussels, Belgium||43||Finland||1–1|
|12||5 June 2016||44||Norway||1–0||3–2|
|13||18 June 2016||Nouveau Stade de Bordeaux, Bordeaux, France||46||Republic of Ireland||3–0||UEFA Euro 2016|
|15||6 September 2016||GSP Stadium, Nicosia, Cyprus||51||Cyprus||1–0||2018 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|17||7 October 2016||King Baudouin Stadium, Brussels, Belgium||52||Bosnia and Herzegovina||4–0||4–0|
|18||13 November 2016||King Baudouin Stadium, Brussels, Belgium||56||Estonia||7–1||8–1|
- Note that the friendlies of Belgium against Romania on 14 November 2012 and Luxembourg on 26 May 2014 are not FIFA A-matches due to an excessive number of substitutions according to the Laws of the Game.
- Belgian Pro League top goalscorer: 2009–10
- Belgian Ebony Shoe: 2011
- UEFA Europa League top goalscorer: 2014–15
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