Hot on the heels of the Serie A championship title he won with Inter Milan, Romelu Lukaku has contributed to the success of Belgium’s Red Devils and freely admits he has “crossed a threshold,” having scored three goals in three matches at the UEFA Euro 2020 tournament.
Ahead of the national team’s first match in the knockout stage, which kicks off at 9:00 PM on Sunday in Seville, Lukaku feels he is now one of the best strikers in the world.
“When people spoke of the best, they always used to mention Harry Kane, Robert Lewandowski or Karim Benzema,” he said at a press conference on Friday at the national centre in Tubize.’ “They used to say I was ‘in form’. That motivated me to work harder. I think I now have a place on that list.”
“I always look for that little added plus that will make me progress, that little something to improve,” he added. “I don’t have any personal goal for this Euro. I simply want to do everything to win.”
Belgium starts the knock-out phase against Portugal, captained by Cristiano Ronaldo. “That’s a real challenge to see where we’re at,” Lukaku said. “It’s a complete team in all aspects of the game, technically, physically and tactically. We’ll need to be intelligent. If we all move forward, we’re going to pay cash, since they are very strong on the break.”
Lukaku, who learned to speak Portuguese with teammates that speak the language at Chelsea, said the typical team member was “very proud of his country, has good technical qualities and is able to play with both feet.”
“Portuguese players have a real will to win and everything to make it happen,” he added.
Belgium came up against Hungary in the final 16 at Euro 2016. This time around, it needs to get past the titleholder if it wants a slot in the quarter-finals.
“To win a competition like the Euro, you need to go through some tough moments,” Lukaku said. “I think you shouldn’t calculate, just prepare the best you can.”
The best goal scorer in the history of the national team, with 63 goals, reassured Belgian fans that he would continue playing at least until the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
The Brussels Times