Belgium forward says he always expected to become his country’s top scorer, a feat he achieved in 2017
Romelu Lukaku says he is one of the top five forwards in the world.
Agent Federico Pastorello recently said Lukaku has become the best striker in the world, while the former Inter striker Christian Vieri said even Robert Lewandowski won’t score as many goals alongside Antonio Conte.
Lukaku has scored 11 goals in 13 Serie A appearances so far this season, including six in his last seven.
Ask by Sport / Voetbalmagazine If he thought he was worthy of a top five, Lukaku didn’t have time to be false modesty.
“Now? In the last five months, yeah,” he said. “I don’t want to rank this group from one to five, but I’m in it for now.”
Although his game reached new heights at San Siro under Conte, Lukaku was keen to pay tribute to Jose Mourinho and Roberto Martinez for their roles in his development.
“Mourinho taught me to work better with the team, both in terms of pressing and to better position myself on the pitch. Watch what he’s doing with Harry Kane now.
“I loved vertical football. I found myself the most dangerous in front of goal. I’m fast, I can take out my direct opponent with a dribble, or swerve left or right. It was my game in the past, also because I was often in teams that played at the counter. But the national team forced me to adjust my style of play.
“With Belgium, we quickly became a team with the most possession and the least space. [to play in]. Roberto Martinez did everything to make me feel more comfortable with my back to goal, both with the national team and back to the Everton.
“At 20, I still had a lot to learn. But I quickly realized that if I could train this aspect of my game, I could do whatever I wanted in a game.
With 57 goals in 89 games, Lukaku is the all-time top scorer in Belgium, 25 ahead of his closest challenger at Eden Hazard. Having made his debut ten years ago, he said the top scorer title was one he always expected to win.
“My advantage is that I turned professional from a young age,” Lukaku noted.
“Despite my difficult first years with the national team, I was 100% sure that I would one day become the top scorer of all time, not least because I have been surrounded by better players for years. If you’ve been on the pitch for so long, it only makes sense that you break a few records. “