In an exclusive interview with ESPN FC, Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku say that destiny was what got them to become teammates at Manchester United. Lukaku, the Belgian superstar of Congolese descent, recently signed with Manchester United after playing for three years with Everton. Meanwhile, Paul Pogba, a French star of Guinean descent, joined Manchester United just last year thanks to a world record transfer fee paid by the club. Prior to heading to England for a physical, Lukaku was actually vacationing with Pogba in California, as Manchester United is preparing for a preseason U.S. tour.
In the interview, Pogba said, “Well, I always knew [Lukaku] wanted to play with me… We knew it would happen one day. One day. I don’t know when and where, and now it’s happening, so I’m very happy for that.” Meanwhile, Lukaku said, “I’m really happy. I’m delighted. I always said that the moment would come. When we were younger, I would say there will be a day that we’ll play together and we can compete for the trophies that we want to win.” Pogba says that he was actually pressuring his club’s upper management to consider getting Lukaku on board, although he cedes credit for the final decision to manager Jose Mourinho.
The two rising stars met as teenagers when they were both early in their senior careers, specifically in a match between Lukaku’s Chelsea and Pogba’s Manchester United (his first stint). After the game, they exchanged phone numbers and the friendship grew from there. Lukaku says that he knew about Pogba before meeting him, as Pogba had played against Lukaku’s brother, who was impressed. Meanwhile, Pogba claims that he knew about Lukaku since the young Belgian was just 13 years old. “We kept in touch, and he became one of my best friends outside the pitch and became a top-class player. So I’m very happy for him,” Pogba says.