Manchester United star Romelu Lukaku reveals all about childhood and growing up in dire poverty

The Manchester United striker is now one of football's best-paid players following his record £75million move from Everton last summer.

But Belgium international Lukaku and his brother, Lazio defender Jordan, endured a tough upbringing in Antwerp after their footballer dad Roger retired.

The 24-year-old recalled living in an unheated flat and having to drink watered-down milk.

Meanwhile his school classmates tormented him for wearing ragged clothes.

Lukaku told Belgian TV: "I realise where I've come from, and I realised at a very young age that I was living in poverty.

"I also became aware very soon that my parents were banking on me to be successful.
"Jordan and I knew that we soon had to turn our talent into money, as the way we lived was tough.

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"For me football was the quickest way, so I invested a great deal of time in the game.

"My father is one of countless examples of footballers who fell into a black hole financially after their careers ended.

"It was very difficult mentally. I realised very quickly that we had no money.

"When the electricity went off it would be out for three days at a time.

"As for the heating, it would be off for spells of two to three weeks.

"I always used to drink milk in the mornings. I saw my mother adding water to it so it would last until the next day.

"I had to play football wearing size seven boots while my feet were already size eight. There was no money for me to get new boots.

"When I went to school I always wore clothes and shoes with holes in. As a kid you get bullied in situations like that."

The striker has returned to Belgium to see a specialist in race against time to be fit for the FA Cup final against Chelsea.

Lukaku was forced off in the second half of United’s win against Arsenal with an ankle injury and is set to miss Thursday's trip West and the final game at home to Watford on Sunday.

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