Romelu Lukaku scored two goals in Belgium’s opening World Cup game against Panama. There are three players who have more goals than him, after playing their second game: Cristiano Ronaldo (4) and Diego Costa and Denis Cheryshev (3).
Belgium play Tunisia on Saturday afternoon and Lukaku will be hoping to increase his goal tally but manager Roberto Matinez, who signed the striker from Chelsea for Everton in 2014, insists the player’s ambitions are of the top prize, not individual accolades.
He’s not here to be the top scorer at the World Cup, and that pleases me. He’s here to help the team to win, and to perform his role. His role is to score goals.
Rom knows what his role is, as I hope every other player on the pitch does. I wouldn’t expect any player to work towards an individual award. I think every player knows what they need to do to becoming a winning team.
I know Rom well — the reason we paid a record fee at Everton was you saw his outstanding finishing quality. Not because he was the finished article, not because he was a player who could give you something apart from scoring goals.
I think his role in the national team has become that: maybe before it was a bit confused. When you ask a player to do things he’s not good at, he becomes diluted.
Made in Manchester is available for just £5. It includes 30 articles from the country's best football writers about graduates from the Manchester United academy. All profit goes to Trafford Macmillan so please support this fantastic cause.