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Dublin: 12 °C Monday 19 August, 2019

Lukaku accuses Belgians of 'laughing' at his career struggles

Romelu Lukaku believes many of his fellow countrymen are looking for him to fail.

ROMELU LUKAKU IS a £75 million striker at Manchester United, but he claims a number of Belgians want him to fail and have laughed at some of his previous transfer choices.

The 25-year-old was tipped for the top upon making the breakthrough in his homeland at Anderlecht, with his goalscoring instincts showcased early on.

A switch to Chelsea in 2011 was to stunt his progress somewhat, but the decision to take in loan spells at West Brom and Everton helped to rekindle his spark and attract interest from afar.

An upward curve continued last summer as he made his way to Old Trafford, before recording 27 goals in his debut campaign for the Red Devils , but Lukaku has accused many of those back in Belgium of failing to offer him the expected level of support.

He told The Players’ Tribune: “I don’t know why some people in my own country want to see me fail. I really don’t.

When I went to Chelsea and I wasn’t playing, I heard them laughing at me. When I got loaned out to West Brom, I heard them laughing at me.

“But it’s cool. Those people weren’t with me when we were pouring water in our cereal. If you weren’t with me when I had nothing, then you can’t really understand me.”

Lukaku endured a tough upbringing, but that only served to make him all the more determined to fulfil his dreams of becoming a footballer.

He is now at the very top of his game, with a World Cup 2018 adventure with Belgium allowing him to chase down major honours while working with France and Arsenal legend Thierry Henry – a boyhood hero of his.

Lukaku added: “Man, listen – when we were kids, we couldn’t even afford to watch Thierry Henry on Match of the Day! Now we’re learning from him every day with the national team.

“I’m standing with the legend, in the flesh, and he’s telling me all about how to run into space like he used to do.

“Thierry might be the only guy in the world who watches more football than me. We debate everything. We’re sitting around and having debates about German second division football.

“I’m like, “Thierry, have you seen the Fortuna Düsseldorf setup, though? He’s like, ‘Don’t be silly. Yes, of course’.

“That’s the coolest thing in the world, to me.”

Lukaku made the starting XI for Belgium in their World Cup opener against Panama on Monday and will be hoping to transfer his club form onto an international stage and silence any remaining critics.

- Omni

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