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Dublin: 5 °C Thursday 12 December, 2019

'I knew I was going to play. The only problem was I also knew he didn't want to play me'

Playing for Belgium under Marc Wilmots was not a source of enjoyment for Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku.

Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku.
Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku.

ROMELU LUKAKU HAS admitted he did not enjoy representing Belgium under former coach Marc Wilmots.

The Manchester United striker played under Wilmots for four years at international level, though the country’s golden generation failed to deliver success at two major tournaments during his reign.

A star-studded squad were knocked out at the quarter-final stage of the 2014 World Cup and, after falling at the same hurdle at Euro 2016, Wilmots was sacked.

Lukaku has revealed that while he always expected to be called up for the national team, he believed his old boss did not want to pick him.

“I knew I was going to play. The only problem was I also knew he didn’t want to play me,” Lukaku told Play Sports.

“In that type of situation, you say, ‘F*** off, leave me at home, don’t pick me.’

“I enjoy playing for the national team. I never said I didn’t want to play, but at that time, I didn’t enjoy being a part of it. I didn’t like getting selected.”

Roberto Martinez took over after Wilmots’ departure and successfully steered Belgium to this year’s World Cup in Russia.

Lukaku featured regularly during the qualifying campaign, scoring 11 goals as Belgium became the first European nation to secure a place in the tournament.

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