Romeo Lavia Biography – Childhood, Parents, Family [2024]

Welcome to SoccerBiography! Our comprehensive account of Romeo Lavia’s Biography will unfold intriguing details about his childhood, early life, and lineage – which includes a Congolese mother and a Ghanaian father.

This narrative also presents stories about his family background, encompassing his brother Henri Braham Stanic, his nephew Mathieu Stroeykens, and his cousin Mario Stroeykens, as well as insights about his love life.

The forthcoming sections delve into Lavia’s Ghanaian ancestry, Congolese heritage, ethnicity, hometown, educational background, faith, and much more. Additionally, this chronicle offers a glimpse into his lifestyle, financial status, personality, and salary.

In essence, this narrative explores the compelling journey of Romeo Lavia. His exceptional skills were spotted by renowned manager Pep Guardiola at a tournament set up by Kevin De Bruyne in his Belgian hometown. Lavia was just 14 years old when his talent shone brightly in this tournament.

The close relationship between De Bruyne and Guardiola played a crucial role in Lavia’s career trajectory. De Bruyne had invited Guardiola to watch the KDB Cup, which he had organized. Lavia’s outstanding performance in the tournament caught Guardiola’s attention, ultimately leading him to sign Lavia and setting his life on a remarkable new course.


We embark on Romeo Lavia’s life story by spotlighting notable events from his formative years. Then, we take a stroll down memory lane, reliving his early footballing days with S.C. Woluwe and Anderlecht. Following this, we share the inspirational tale of how Lavia’s destiny intertwined with Pep Guardiola when he was just 14, an event that propelled him to Manchester City.

We aim to capture your attention with this engaging account of Romeo Lavia’s life. Few people are aware that Lavia played for Manchester City’s senior team when he was just 17.

Some football enthusiasts believed that competing with Fernandinho and Rodri in City’s first team might be too challenging for someone his age. However, Lavia proved his mettle by transferring to Southampton, where he showed his worth.

In our experience of narrating the tales of Belgian defensive midfielders, we discovered a crucial piece of the puzzle. The fact is, few football enthusiasts have delved into a comprehensive account of Romeo Lavia’s life, which is truly captivating. So, without further ado, let’s embark on this exciting journey.

Romeo Lavia’s Early Life:

Known affectionately as Lavizzy, Roméo Lavia was born on January 6, 2004, to Ghanaian parents in Brussels, Belgium.

As a professional footballer from Belgium, he is one of several children born to his Ghanaian parents. Now, allow us to introduce Romeo Lavia’s mother. She instilled in him the value of simplicity and the importance of staying grounded even amidst stellar success.

Formative Years:

Romeo Lavia passed his early years in the bustling city of Brussels, surrounded by his brother Henri, cousin Mario, and nephew Mathieu. Brussels, often regarded as the “European Capital,” continues to be Lavia’s Belgian residence.

This nickname owes its origins to Brussels being the base for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the European Union, and several international entities.

As stated previously, Romeo Lavia’s parents have more than one child. Lavia grew up with his siblings, particularly his older brother Henri Braham Stanic. Pictured here with their mother, Henri was born on July 18, 2002.

Romeo Lavia’s Early Years:

As a youngster in Brussels, Lavia dreamt of a future in professional football. His journey in this direction began at the tender age of 8 when he began participating in trials for some of Belgium’s biggest clubs. The year 2012, when he was just 8 years old, marked a significant milestone in his life as he was accepted into the academy of Anderlecht.

Lavia, even as an 8-year-old, showed remarkable promise and maturity. This phase of his life was characterized by intensive football training at a center in Neerpede, near Brussels. His persistence paid off when, seven years later, he had a chance encounter with destiny at an international youth tournament set up by Kevin De Bruyne. We will delve into Lavia’s impressive performance at the KDB Cup later in this account.

Romeo Lavia’s Family Origins:

It is well-known that the lives of Ghanaians residing in Europe vary greatly depending on individual preferences and specific circumstances. Lavia’s parents, in this context, have established a reasonably comfortable middle-class household in the capital city of Brussels.

Similar to numerous Ghanaian families in Belgium, the Lavia family prioritized education and career growth, exemplified by Romeo, their primary source of income. This approach has facilitated their journey towards financial stability and upward mobility in terms of socioeconomic status.

For the Lavia family, the definition of family extends beyond the immediate relatives. As seen in the aforementioned photo, the concept of family includes relatives and close friends who are deemed an integral part of the larger Ghanaian familial network. Like Jeremy Doku’s family, Lavia’s family has achieved a harmonious blend of their Ghanaian traditions and Belgian customs.

Romeo Lavia’s Ancestry:

Romeo Lavia, similar to Jeremy Doku, identifies as a professional footballer with Ghanaian lineage. However, it’s worth noting that one of Lavia’s parents – his mother – is of Congolese descent. Yoane Wissa and Romelu Lukaku serve as a prominent example of accomplished footballers with Congolese roots.

Does Romeo Lavia hold Ghanaian Nationality?

Indeed, Lavia, born in Brussels, carries Ghanaian lineage through his father. Before committing to the Belgian national team, Lavia had the option to represent the Ghanaian national team, known as the Black Stars.

Given his father’s Ghanaian nationality, the Ghanaian football federation reached out to Lavia. However, despite having represented Belgium at the U15, U16 & U17 levels, Lavia chose not to play for the Ghanaian national team.

Ethnic Background:

Romeo Lavia identifies as a Belgian Ghanaian, having been born in Belgium to a father of Ghanaian descent. Also, through his mother, whose roots can be traced back to the DRC (Democratic Republic of Congo), Lavia identifies with the Belgian Congolese ethnic group. Or an Afro-Belgian like Amadou Onana and Vincent Kompany.

Romeo Lavia’s Education:

Thanks to the backing of his parents and the Belgian Government, Lavia had access to a range of educational opportunities. Much like other aspiring footballers in Brussels, Lavia began compulsory education at the age of 6. During his primary school years, he played for the local team, S.C. Woluwe. Now, let’s delve deeper into his career journey.

Romeo Lavia Biography – Football Journey:

After displaying remarkable potential with S.C. Woluwe, Lavia followed in the footsteps of Youri Tielemans, joining Anderlecht in 2012. With this move came heightened expectations and increased responsibilities. Despite the pressure of playing at one of Belgium’s most demanding academies, Lavia faced each challenge with enthusiasm, and his skills improved with every game.

Ascending through Anderlecht’s ranks, Lavia quickly secured a leadership role. Much like Albert Sambi Lokonga, who once held a young leadership role with the club, Captain Roméo led his team with unyielding determination. The young footballer garnered numerous accolades, but his primary motivation remained his passion for the sport.

Romeo Lavia Bio – The Path to Stardom:

When asked about the turning point in his teenage years, Lavia is likely to mention “the KDB Cup.” This prestigious European youth tournament for U15 teams carries Kevin De Bruyne’s initials. Football academies worldwide, from Japan to Brazil, vie for participation in the KDB Cup.

The KDB Cup has always been a source of inspiration for Romeo Lavia. During his time at Anderlecht, he saw players like Ilaix Moriba from FC Barcelona excel in the 2017 edition of the competition. His older brother, Jeremy Doku (from RSC Anderlecht), also clinched the competition’s best player award, further fueling Lavia’s ambition.

A Fateful Encounter at the KDB Cup:

One fateful day, Pep Guardiola decided to attend the KDB Cup to witness the young talents personally. Roméo Lavia stood out amongst the participants, catching the attention of the Man City Manager. The gifted teen, of Ghanaian descent, showcased exceptional maturity and technical prowess, leading his team to numerous victories.

Pep Guardiola was a special guest at the competition hosted by Kevin De Bruyne in his hometown, Drongen. He was captivated by Romeo Lavia, who inspired his Anderlecht team to triumph over top teams like Borussia Dortmund, Paris Saint-Germain, and Chelsea. The moment Lavia lifted the KDB Cup, his life took a transformative turn.

Interestingly, Lavia led his team to victory despite being a year younger than most players on the opposing teams and his teammates. After the tournament, news of his talent began to circulate among the top European teams. It was rumored that giants like Man United, Arsenal, Liverpool, and Chelsea were keen on signing the emerging star.

A Fresh Start:

Keen observers of Manchester City games would recognize that Pep Guardiola has a preference for players with robust box-to-box midfield capabilities. In Romeo Lavia, the Man City Manager believed his club had discovered a talent who could potentially mirror the skills of Fernandinho and the renowned Sergio Busquets.

After consulting with his family, Lavia, born in Brussels, signed a three-year contract with Manchester City in July 2020. Lavia admitted that leaving his childhood club at the age of 16 to join City was a challenging step, but the offer from Manchester City was too compelling to refuse. In an interview with, the promising player said;

“Leaving Anderlecht was tough, but the offer from the Citizens was simply irresistible.”

While at City, Lavia found a mentor in Fernandinho, the formidable Brazilian midfield powerhouse. The former Man City Captain became his guide, and Lavia greatly appreciated Fernandinho’s guidance and inspiration.

Romeo Lavia Biography – Path to Recognition:

Upon landing in England, the 16-year-old Brussels prodigy was placed in Manchester City’s U18 team. His performance was impressive and quickly caught the attention of the academy staff. After just 11 games, he earned a promotion to Man City’s U23 team.

Indeed, when Lavia moved to England at the tender age of 16, many believed he would spend most of the 2019/2020 season with the U18s. His rapid advancement to Enzo Maresca’s U23 team surprised many. Notably, Lavia was part of a talented Man City reserve team that included other gifted teenagers like Cole Palmer, Liam Delap, etc.

With the U23s, he masterfully managed the City midfield, playing a crucial role in their victory over rivals, including Manchester United. Lavia’s significant achievement with Man City’s U23 team was winning the Premier League 2 championship in April 2021. Rico Lewis and Phil Foden also had tremendous success with City youth. The young Belgian’s accomplishments did not stop there; he (Lavia) was also voted player of the season.

Preparation for a Professional Career:

Following his quick ascent and victory in the Premier League 2 championship, there were calls for Lavia to join City’s senior team. In preparation for his professional debut, Lavia told Goal that he watched many videos of his role models, Fernandinho, Ilkay Gundogan and Sergio Busquets. He commented;

“These two have consistently dominated as defensive midfielders.

I’ve observed them closely.

Fernandinho is always aware – he doesn’t just run aimlessly. He’s like the brain of the team.

“When you’re not experienced, you might want to run – left, right – but Fernandinho knows what he’s doing.

So, he may not run as much but remains highly effective. That’s something I continuously learn from him.”

Journey into Professional Football:

From the summer of 2021, Romeo Lavia’s parents were elated to see their son start training with City’s first team. He trained alongside talented young players like Phil Foden, Ferran Torres, and Julián Álvarez, who all had promising careers ahead.

Young Lavia won Pep’s trust, reflected in his inclusion in the 2021–22 UEFA Champions League squad. His long-anticipated professional debut arrived on the 21st of September 2021, when he was seventeen.

In his debut match (a 2021–22 EFL Cup), City claimed a 6-1 victory over Wycombe Wanderers. The goals were scored by Cole Palmer, James McAtee, Ruben Dias, Gabriel Jesus, Bernardo Silva, Joao Cancelo, and Scott Carson.

Following his debut match, football pundits recognized similarities between Lavia and Fernandinho.

Choosing a New Path:

While Lavia displayed remarkable skills on the ball and an aptitude for making decisive passes from deep positions (a trait greatly admired by Guardiola), he was aware that securing a spot on the first team would be a tough challenge. If he remained at Man City, he risked being confined to Carabao Cup appearances or being used as a substitute in Premier League games that were already won, scenarios he was keen to avoid.

Several football clubs took notice, understanding that Romeo Lavia might not have a starting position under Guardiola. On 6 July 2022, the former Anderlecht sensation signed a five-year contract with Ralph Hasenhüttl’s Southampton team, joining as the fourth summer recruit following Gavin Bazunu, Armel Bella-Kotchap and Mateusz Lis.

Within six weeks of joining the Saints, 18-year-old Lavia quickly became a popular figure at the club. Throughout the 2022/2023 season, the Saints’ fans took great pride in having a footballer of such immense talent in their team. Lavia’s transfer to a top Premier League team is sure, and Liverpool (at the time of writing) is the frontrunner (ThisIsAnfield Report). The rest, as it’s often said, is history.

Does Romeo Lavia have a girlfriend?

Given Lavia’s rapid ascension in his career at a young age, it’s clear that the former Man City defensive midfielder is brimming with potential. As Lavia’s star continues to rise, fans have speculated about his romantic life, wondering if he has a girlfriend or if there’s a potential wife on the horizon.

As of the writing of Romeo Lavia’s Biography, he’s still maturing and figuring out what he desires in a relationship. This critical period demands full focus, devotion, and commitment to the sport. As of 2023, many young footballers like him, including Nico Jackson and Rico Lewis, prefer to stay single to fully concentrate on their professional growth.

Personal Life Insights:

Fans have often asked, “Who is Romeo Lavia?” To begin with, the Belgian shares a similar humility to Ngolo Kante and values the idea that the simplest things can bring the most happiness. Essentially, Lavia combines modesty with resilience. His contentment isn’t tied to material possessions, and his capacity to find joy in the smaller things in life makes him mentally tough, even in challenging times.

As per, a person born on January 6th, like Lavia, has a natural grasp of companionship. Moreover, he possesses a strong urge to seek out what he desires in life (freedom).

Recall in the earlier part of Romeo Lavia’s Biography, he left both Anderlecht and Manchester City to find professional fulfillment (as a first-team player). Despite leaving, Lavia maintains a positive relationship with De Bruyne and Pep Guardiola, who continue to admire the young Belgian’s talents.

Living Style:

When it comes to his lifestyle, Romeo Lavia isn’t one to shy away from the more opulent and vibrant aspects of life. The Belgian athlete enjoys the company of friends in luxurious cars, a testament to his appreciation of the finer things that success can offer.

However, this enjoyment of luxury doesn’t contradict Lavia’s belief in the joy of simplicity. In essence, the Southampton Defensive Midfielder savors both the simple and lavish aspects of life without undermining the other. He views socializing with friends as an opportunity to unwind, share success, and enjoy the rewards of his hard work on the pitch.

Romeo Lavia’s Family Background:

The success story of Romeo Lavia is closely entwined with his family’s love for football. This section reveals details about the strong and dedicated family unit which originates from Ghana but now proudly identifies as Belgian.

Regarding Romeo Lavia’s Father:

Despite the athlete’s life being openly shared with fans and family members on social media, certain personal aspects are kept private. One such aspect is Romeo Lavia’s relationship with his father.

At the time this biography was written, little is known about Romeo’s father. The investigation suggests that the Belgian sports star prefers to keep his father’s details under wraps. What we do know is that Romeo’s father hails from Ghana.

About Romeo Lavia’s Mother:

Her Congolese background adds to her son’s rich multicultural heritage. The significant influence of Romeo Lavia’s mother on his successful football career is undeniable. As can be gleaned from this biography, his mother’s support has been evident since his early triumphs with Anderlecht.

Romeo Lavia’s Siblings:

His elder brother, Henri Braham Stanic, was born in Jette, one of the 19 municipalities in the Brussels-Capital Region of Belgium. Standing tall at 1.89 meters, he is a central defender for Liepaja, a Latvian football club established in 2014. The youngest brother of Romeo Lavia appears to be the last born in the family.

Romeo Lavia’s Cousin and Nephew:

Mario Stroeykens, born on the 29th day of September 2004 in Zellik, is Romeo Lavia’s cousin. As of 2023, he is an attacker and secondary striker for the senior team of Anderlecht, having graduated from the club’s academy.

Mathieu Stroeykens, born on the 19th of August 2002, is Romeo Lavia’s nephew. He is a Belgian citizen and a professional goalkeeper who also came through the ranks at Anderlecht’s academy. In July 2021, Mathieu Stroeykens progressed from the Anderlecht U18 team.

Lesser-known Facts:

In the concluding section of Romeo Lavia’s Biography, we present some lesser-known facts about the outstanding Midfielder who shares the same agent as Bukayo Saka. Let’s dive in without delay.

Romeo Lavia and FIFA:

While video games like FIFA strive to accurately represent the players’ real-life attributes, discrepancies are not uncommon. Romeo Lavia’s FIFA ratings are disappointingly low – similar to the likes of Rasmus Hojlund and Mateo Retegui. Although his potential rating of 86 does reflect the bright future fans predict for him, his overall rating seems unjustifiably low.

Considering the immense talent Romeo Lavia exhibits on the pitch, an upgrade in his FIFA ratings would lend more credibility to the game. He rightfully deserves comparable statistics to other top Defensive Midfielders like Lesley Ugochukwu, Sandro Tonali and Moises Caicedo.

Romeo Lavia’s Earnings:

Following his 2022 contract with Southampton, he now earns £1,302,000 annually. When viewed from a Ghanaian perspective, it equates to GH₵19,516,875. Now, let’s break down Romeo Lavia’s Southampton salary (Source: Capology).

According to the report from Capology, Lavia’s earnings surpass that of Kyle Walker-Peters, Amel Bella Kochap, and Tino Livramento. However, players like Chi Adams, Paul Onuachu, Mohammed Salisu, and others earn more than him.

The Financial Standing of the Belgian Athlete of Ghanaian Descent:

Considering the average annual earnings in Ghana (the country of Romeo Lavia’s father’s origin), an individual there earns roughly GH₵ 60,840 annually. Interestingly, such an individual would need to work for 26.7 years to earn GH₵1,626,406, which is Romeo Lavia’s monthly salary with Southampton.

Romeo Lavia’s Religious Affiliation:

While his social media profiles provide insights into his professional life and personal interests, they don’t reveal his religious beliefs or affiliations. However, given the cultural and religious demographics within the Ghanaian and Congolese communities in Belgium, it would not be far-fetched to assume that Romeo Lavia may be Christian.

Final Thoughts:

Romeo Lavia’s family, including extended family members, comprise athletes who proudly claim their Belgian identity, while also acknowledging their ancestral roots in Ghana and Congo. Lavia was born to a father of Ghanaian descent and a mother of Congolese heritage.

The Defensive Midfielder was raised alongside his brother, Henri Braham Stanic, and has an extended family of professional footballers. This includes his nephew, Mathieu Stroeykens, and cousin, Mario Stroeykens.

From an early age, football held a special place in Lavia’s life. Even during his academy years with Anderlecht, Lavia was recognized as a particularly gifted individual. A natural leader, he rapidly advanced through the ranks at Anderlecht, where his potential for greatness was recognized by many.

Path to Stardom:

The Belgian-Ghanaian teenager’s big break came during his participation in the KDB Cup. It was at this local international youth tournament, where he led his team to victory, that he first caught the attention of Pep Guardiola, the event’s guest of honour.

Lavia’s most significant accomplishment with Man City’s youth team was leading them to the Premier League 2 championship in April 2021. However, at the age of 18, Man City’s first team may have been a bit too advanced for him. Taking a page out of Jadon Sancho’s book, he transferred to another top-tier football club, Southampton.

Despite Southampton’s relegation in the 2022/2023 season, Lavia experienced a phenomenal rise with the team. As of this biography, the young man who ventured abroad early in life is now, along with Khephren Thuram (brother to Marcus), a sought-after transfer target for English Premier League teams.

Certainly, Lavia, now valued at £50m, has he (like Cole Palmer, Gavi and Pedri) have matured rapidly in their game. As many Belgian fans have noted, he has repeatedly demonstrated that there is life after Axel Witsel. Without a doubt, Lavia’s journey is an inspiring example of a boy who achieved football greatness at a young age.

Words of Gratitude:

Thank you for taking the time to read our version of Romeo Lavia’s Biography here at SoccerBiography. A Baller who is rising so fast in the midfield, like Felix Nmecha. We strive for accuracy and fairness in our quest to tell the stories of European Football Athletes. Lavia’s Bio is part of our collection of Belgian Soccer Stories.

Should you find any errors in this memoir of the former KDB Cup winner, kindly notify us via the comments section. Remember, this is a player whom Arsenal admires, even after acquiring Declan Rice.

Besides Romeo Lavia’s Biography, we offer other captivating Belgian Soccer Stories, both male and female. From a women’s football perspective, you’ll find the Life History of Jeremy Doku and Tessa Wullaert fascinating. And from the European side, the history of Xavi Simons and Anthony Elanga is interesting to read.

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