If karma exists then Romelu Lukaku will surely score bags of goals for Manchester United over the coming weeks.
The Belgian striker’s first reaction after United’s 1-0 win over Benfica on Wednesday night was to console Mile Svilar, whose error cost the Portuguese club at the Estadio da Luz.
Svilar, who became the youngest goalkeeper to appear in the Champions League, inexplicably allowed Marcus Rashford’s speculative free-kick to cross the line midway through the second half.
Only those with hearts of stone didn’t feel some level of sympathy towards the Belgium Under-19 international, who looked devastated after the match.
Lukaku plus other members of the Man Utd squad and coaching staff all had some words of advice for the 18-year-old keeper following the full-time whistle.
Svilar fronted up after the match
To his immense credit, Svilar fronted up and conducted a classy post-match interview with beIN Sports after the game.
“I’m feeling proud after making my debut,” the youngster insisted. “I played a good game but I could have done better with the goal - it’s part of growing up, I can’t return it now.”
Asked if it was a harsh lesson to learn, Svilar continued: “That’s [part of] being a goalkeeper - it’s one moment. If a striker makes a mistake, he can score a goal and everything is forgotten but with a goalkeeper he can play a perfect game and one moment can ruin it. It doesn’t affect me at all, so it’s okay.”
A magnificent reaction from the 18-year-old, who appears to have the mental strength to bounce back from this cruel setback.
Svilar: What Lukaku said to me on the pitch
During the same interview, Svilar revealed what Lukaku said to him out on the pitch.
“Yeah, it was nice,” the Belgian added. “He just said that I don’t have to worry, continue to work and it’ll be okay.”
Fair play, Romelu.
Video: Svilar's classy interview
Great stuff from the lad. A mature head on young shoulders.
Why Lukaku can empathise with Svilar
Lukaku can empathise with Svilar after missing the decisive penalty when he was 20 years old in the 2013 UEFA Super Cup.
He knows exactly how it feels to mess up in a big European match and, more importantly, what it takes to bounce back.
Now find out what Jose Mourinho told the players about Mile Svilar before the match by clicking HERE.