Romelu Lukaku is renowned for his brute strength and Cesar Azpilicueta saw that first hand when Chelsea came up against Manchester United at Old Trafford in 2019.
Romelu Lukaku might have some explaining to do when he sees Cesar Azpilicueta for the first time after sealing his move to Chelsea.
The Belgian striker has completed his medical in Italy and is on the verge of joining the Blues from Inter Milan in a £97.5million deal.
The 28-year-old will be hoping he’ll have more success at Chelsea at the second time of asking, however, after a difficult spell as a youngster between 2011 and 2014.
Azpilicueta is the only player that remains from Lukaku’s time in west London as the Spanish defender has worked his way up to club captain.
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Lukaku is renowned for his brute strength and it was certainly on show when the two teams faced each other at Old Trafford in April 2019.
With the home side leading 1-0, the talisman body checked Azpilicueta in a 50/50 as the Chelsea player would go tumbling into United’s club photographer.
And Lukaku will hope the pair can laugh about the incident when they meet up at Cobham as he rejoins Chelsea.
According to the Metro, the Spain international said of the episode: “I was okay, maybe I was lucky I had the photographer just in front of me. I was going straight to the wall.
“It’s a fight, it’s a fight, we knew they are a very physical team. Physicality is part of football, the battles, I’m happy for it.”
It was a scary moment for longstanding photographer John Peters, but luckily the only thing damaged was a camera lens.
He recalled: “You could see he was a lot more concerned for me than himself. I mean, he’s a bloody professional footballer! But he was fine, too. It all happened very quickly. Obviously, the game was still going on, so he just apologised and I told him: ‘Don’t worry, mate, no problem.’ I just sat there a little bit dazed with only one lens, because the other one was in pieces!”
“Usually, you [can] read it and you have time to get out of the way, but that happened with such force, and so quickly. But it wasn’t a foul; it was just a strong challenge that propelled him in my direction. It is hard for the players to stop [with the slope at Old Trafford].
”The crowd, the fans, behind [me] were lovely. They were all asking if I was okay, because I usually sit there, around that area, so I know them to speak to.
“Once it happened, I quickly got about 15 text messages, emails from as far away as America and Barbados. Peter Schmeichel was one of them! Gary Neville mentioned me [on TV], which was nice.”