Romelu Lukaku’s agent, Mino Raiola, has told Swedish newspaper Expressen that the Manchester United striker’s mother regularly had to argue that her son was the same age as his peers due to his size while growing up.
The Belgium international is renowned for his predatory movement and deadly finishing abilities that have already taken him to 11 goals this season, but he’s also blessed with an incredible physique that’s helped him stand out from the very beginning.
It’s that powerful frame which has caused him – or his mother, most notably – so much hassle growing up.
Lukaku was already over 6ft tall aged 12, and it’s fair to say parents of the other children were dubious that he was yet to enter adolescence.
Mino Raiola, the United striker’s agent, told Expressen recently: “I was talking to his mother. She always ended up with other parents who did not think he was 12 or 14 years old.
“It was always a fuss that he scored three or four goals. He was bigger and physically strong, yes. But they screamed that he was not in the right age group.
“So she took the birth certificate. He was born in Belgium, but they spread false reports he been born in Africa. ‘Here it is,’ she said.”