The Inter frontman is determined to become a global superstar in his own right and put himself in contention for the Ballon d’Or
Romelu Lukaku claims Cristiano Ronaldo would like to have his “power”, with the Inter striker determined to put his skill set to good use by eclipsing the efforts of Harry Kane and Karim Benzema as he becomes a serious Ballon d’Or contender.
Another 30-goal haul was recorded by the Belgium international at club level last season, with only a five-time Golden Ball winner at Juventus bettering his return in Serie A.
Ronaldo continues to set the standard for many, not just in Italian football, with Lukaku among those that looks to the Portuguese superstar for inspiration – while also acknowledging his own strengths.
What has been said?
Lukaku has told reporters when asked if facing Ronaldo on a domestic stage has helped to take his game to greater heights: “On the personal level, yes.
“As a team [Inter] it was just important to win the championship. We’ve done it. It was exceptional, the way we were in all the big matches, we won a lot, it was a great season for us. We hope to do it next year.
“I would like to have his [Ronaldo’s] dribble and the way he kicks the ball. He would like to have my power!
“How old is he, 36? [Juventus] went out in the Champions League against Porto. The way he got criticism, I was like ‘wow, it’s unbelievable’.
“Then the next game he scored a hat-trick. It’s motivational when you have somebody in your own league who can do it in that age, then you think why couldn’t I get to that level, or as close as possible? He’s a player you can count on, he wins. That’s impressive.”
What are Lukaku’s ultimate goals?
The 28-year-old has starred across two seasons with Serie A champions Inter, finding the target on 64 occasions in just 95 appearances.
Many now have the former Manchester United striker sitting among the global elite, but he feels others receive greater recognition and that is serving as added incentive to become even better.
Lukaku, who has hit three goals for his country at Euro 2020, added on forcing his way into the Ballon d’Or picture: “That’s a really great goal, and my childhood dream.
“I wanted to step to the next level, to get better. People always would talk about Kane, [Robert] Lewandowski, Benzema, and say it was world-class level, with me it was always ‘good form’.
“In the last two years I’ve shown that it’s not just good form, I belong with that group. The thing I really want to do is start winning.
“The fact we won with Inter has given me more motivation to further improve. The final goal would be to win with the national team. That would be the ultimate recognition for the players here and pride for Belgium.
“I need that, the line between provocation, some people go over it. I go to the line and then I know that’s the limit and then I just want to win, that’s my goal.
“I think I’ve gotten to the next level. I keep going up. Everything’s possible. It’s a matter of work, finding the little things that make you better. I know I’ve progressed a lot, that’s for sure. But I’m always looking for that little extra.”