Swapping shirts is always a sign of respect between sportspeople – with Romelu Lukaku and Paul Pogba no different as they caught up with NBA superstar Draymond Green during Manchester United’s pre-season tour of America.
The towering Golden State Warriors superstar, fresh from winning his second NBA title, swung by the United team hotel in Los Angeles to exchange tops with the United pair.
Lukaku, the club’s £75million new signing, has already started breaking records with the announcement of the agreement over his transfer fee becoming the club’s most retweeted post of all time – being shared on Twitter a staggering 93,000 times.
Manchester United’s pre-season schedule
July 16: LA Galaxy (StubHub Center, California) 3am UK time
July 18: Real Salt Lake (Rio Tinto Stadium, Utah) 3am
July 21: Manchester City (NRG Stadium, Houston – International Champions’ Cup) 2.30am
July 23: Real Madrid (Levi’s Stadium, California – International Champions’ Cup) 10pm
July 27: Barcelona (FedExField, Maryland – International Champions’ Cup) 12.30am
July 30: Valerenga (Ullevaal Stadium, Oslo) 6pm
August 2: Sampdoria (Aviva Stadium, Dublin) 7.45pm
August 8: Real Madrid (Philip II Arena, Skopje – UEFA Super Cup) 7.45pm
But when Warriors talisman Green turned up – fresh from his first Defensive Player of the Year award – it was time to put the smartphones away for a few moments as the lauded trio took part in a celebrated footballing ritual.
Lukaku and Pogba donned the blue and yellow basketball top of the Warriors – who won their second title in three years last month when they defeated arch-rivals Cleveland Cavaliers 4-1 in the Finals.
Meanwhile, Green put on the fabled red shirt of Manchester United.
Mutual respect ran deep as the talented three posed for pictures as former Juventus star Pogba and Lukaku gave their new pal the thumbs-up.
However, the real work starts now for Jose Mourinho’s United as they prepare to play their first match of this summer’s pre-season American tour against LA Galaxy at the StubHub Center in the early hours of Sunday morning (UK time).
They then take on Real Salt Lake City at the Rio Tinto Stadium in Utah on Tuesday before playing rivals Manchester City at the NRG Stadium in Houston as part of the International Champions Cup on Sunday, July 23.
After further games against Real Madrid, Barcelona, Valengra and Sampdoria they conclude their pre-season with another match against Real in the UEFA Super Cup at the Prince II Arena in Skopje Macedonia on August 8.