'There's one thing better than scoring'
"It's the best feeling ever - besides seeing my mother smile," says Romelu on his obsession for scoring goals...
When someone says the word ‘goal’ to you what immediately springs to mind? Can you describe the feeling it immediately gives you? [Laughs] A lot! It’s what I do. It’s the best feeling ever. Besides seeing my mother smile, it’s the best thing ever. Do you dream about goals? Ones you’ve scored or ones you dream about scoring? All the time. When I was a kid sometimes I used to run or do something that I would do if I could turn pro. To make that dream come true is a great feeling. Do you visualise yourself scoring before games? No, only in the warm-up. That’s when I try to do what I want to do in the games. If you could score the perfect goal what would it be? The perfect goal… [pauses] I really want to score from 30 yards out one day. I’ve had a few goals from outside the box, but I’d really like a screamer, that would be cool. I practice all the time, but I don’t always get into that position as I score a lot from crosses so I want to be in there for those as well. You posted recently about dedicating every goal to your mum – does she act as your inspiration every time you step out onto the pitch? All the time. We talk before every game and we talk every day. When she’s not at my house and she’s in Belgium we FaceTime four or five times a day, easy. And sometimes we just talk about nothing! [Smiles] Or sometimes we’ll watch TV at the same time – she’ll be watching Belgium TV and I have it at my house so we’ll watch it at the same time and then we’ll talk about what we’re watching! She inspires me all the time. You’ve now hit the 30 goal-mark for United – which strike stands out as your favourite and why? That’s tough. [Pauses to think] I have a good memory... [pauses again] probably the first one. At the time I remember thinking this will be the first of many. My record is quite good for United but that first goal was the most important one. It was my first game for the club and you know how it is when they buy you and people are saying ‘yeah big money signing la la la’ and stuff like that [smiles]… I knew I would score the day before the game. Which strikers inspired you growing up? Who was your idol? Didier [Drogba], [Nicolas] Anelka and, people don’t know it, but I liked [Ruud] van Nistelrooy a lot and Andy Cole. Ruud was just ruthless in the way he scored goals. I knew him when he was at PSV and I was already following him from there and when he was at Manchester United he achieved another level. Andy Cole I remember from my first year of playing football [in 1999]… he did amazing things and he was a goalscorer. I started playing in the Treble year and those are my first memories of football. You’ve mentioned that you speak to Didier every day. How does he inspire you and, of course, you hit 100 Premier League goals in 30 games less than him… [Smiles] When that happened he sent me four cups [for his four Premier League titles] on Snapchat! We speak every day and it’s really nice because he’s been part of the process. Now I’m talking to Thierry Henry saying ‘I’m coming for you’ on 175! I’m laughing saying it to him, but deep down inside he knows I’m dead serious! [Laughs] You’re still only 25 but you’ve already broken lots of records, including being your country’s all-time top scorer – put into words what that means to you and what’s your next aim? I think I did something that people didn’t expect me to do. I remember my first two or three years playing for Belgium didn’t go that great, I only scored four goals and people were saying I shouldn’t be there and this and that, I heard so much negative stuff playing for Belgium. That’s why I always play with a sense of anger because I try to make them swallow their own words and I think did that. Now for me the aim is to win something for my country, that’s the main goal and it always will be the main goal, but then also I want to put the record so high that nobody can touch it. Then I can sit back and relax and be like ‘well, I told you I’d do it.’ What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given when it comes to scoring goals? It’s the next goal that counts.