Jay-Z and Inter Milan footballer Romelu Lukaku have spoken in a new interview about their friendship and shared love of music.
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Lukaku, the Belgian player signed to the rapper’s sports management company, Roc Nation Sports, has praised Jay-Z’s ongoing support, saying that his words of encouragement have helped him “become a winner”.
Likewise, Jay-Z has said Lukaku’s strong passion for his sport, as well as having a “solid base” of a loving and supportive family meant it was easy to believe in the star player.
As HipHopDx writes, Jay-Z can be credited with cosigning Lukaku’s transfer from Manchester United FC to Inter Milan in 2018, from which Lukaku led Inter to the 2020-21 Serie A title last month and picked up MVP (scudetto) for the season.
Jay-Z said in a new interview with Gazzetta dello Sport: “I remember when we talked together about the possibility of joining Inter in the summer of 2019. We discussed all the reasons why it would be the right decision for him. I’m not surprised in the slightest by Lukaku’s goals and the scudetto. Everything Romelu does has a purpose: he knows there’s always an objective in front of him and you need to do everything to achieve it. You can see he’s really attached to his roots.
“Romelu immediately spoke to me about his brother Jordan and his love for music, a sentiment which connects us. Then when he started speaking about his education, he told me about his father and his mother. He explained to me the love they showed him even in the most difficult moments of his life. His father was an ex-footballer and that’s where he got his passion for football, the flame that guides him every day.”
He added: “I knew that with such a solid base, at the end, Lukaku would have succeeded in every sporting and private challenge. He’s a very curious guy about life and the world. The important thing is he always asks himself the right question.”
Lukaku credited his friendship with Jay-Z as a boon to his success. “Music is a way to keep myself connected with the difficulties I have gone through in my life.
“With all my experience. It’s very important, not just a hobby, but a part of me. My friendship with JAY-Z? He taught me how to stay on top, how to become a winner.”
He continued: “I remember when he said to me, ‘If you really think Inter are the step to take to win, do it.’ During my first year, my teammates and I came close to success, but in the last season we made it through hard work, patience, sweat and sacrifice. Just the way Jay had shown me.”
Lukaku is one of a number of European footballers signed to Roc Nation Sports, including Marcus Rashford, Axel Witsel, Kevin De Bruyne, Wilfried Zaha, and others.
In other news, Jay-Z opened up earlier this week about how his mother was reluctant to take a role on his track ‘Smile’, in which she publicly discussed her sexuality for the first time.