Inter Milan striker Romelu Lukaku’s fondness for urban American culture is no secret.
The Chelsea loanee hails from Antwerp, Belgium but his demeanour is firmly rooted in the streets of New York.
As pointed out by fans over the years, the 30-year-old has a knack for behaving like he’s American, be it through his accent while conversing in English, his constant use of hip-hop slang, or through the links he has with the hip-hop industry.
For the uninitiated, Lukaku is signed to Roc Nation Sports, a branch of the Entertainment agency owned by legendary rapper Jay-Z.
The parent organization represents A-list artists including Moneybagg YO and DJ Khaled, both of whom Lukaku has linked up with in the past.
Aside from rubbing shoulders with US rappers, the striker has also tried stepping into the booth himself, which only bolstered the theory that Lukaku ‘tries to be American.’
The discourse surrounding his attempts to be American made a resurgence earlier this week, and it all occurred after the full-time whistle blew on the UCL semi-final between AC Milan and Inter.
The 2-legged semi-final brought the Derby della Madonnina to the European stage, all for the coveted UCL final spot.
The first leg saw Inter pick up a comfortable 2-0 victory with their arch-rivals looking toothless at best, and the same can be said about the second leg as well.
Inter suppressed all of Milan’s attacking impetus with ease, before eventually grabbing a goal and confirming their trip to Istanbul.
Lukaku played a crucial role in Nerazzuri’s second-leg victory, as he provided the assist for Lautaro Martienez’s goal.
Following the game, the striker was welcomed for a post-match interview by the CBS panel composed of Kate Abdo, Theirry Henry, Jamie Carragher and Micah Richards.
Besides delivering his assessment of the game, Lukaku also shared some heartfelt thoughts regarding his recent struggles on the pitch.
Additionally, the interview offered up a wholesome interaction between Henry and the Belgian, with the pair heaping praise on each other.
But despite all this, what caught the eyes of fans online ended up being the towel hung over Lukaku’s shoulder.
As seen in this image, the 30-year-old gave the interview with a Gatorade-branded towel placed on his shoulder.
Fans interpreted the seemingly harmless towel to be another one of Lukaku’s attempts at being American.
The childish idea was spawned after users online drew parallels between the Belgian and the NBA, as players in the Basketball league often sit courtside with branded towels wrapped around their necks.
From Gatorade to Powerade to Lucozade, the branding differs, but seeing NBA players equipped with a towel during post-match interviews is certainly a common sight.
This brought on the idea that Lukaku was trying to be American again, but of course, the truth is not so straightforward.
In reality, the choice of the towel was entirely out of the striker’s hands, as the Gatorade-branded towels are simply a part of the sponsorship agreement between Inter and the brand.
Naturally, Lukaku wasn’t the only Inter player carrying the towel; goalkeeper Andre Onana made use of it throughout the game and other Inter players including Federico Dimarco were also seen with it.
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