Football

Lukaku will outscore Ronaldo in Serie A: Andy van der Meyde

Van der Meyde believes Belgian, who is on the cusp of 50th international goal, will terrorise Serie A defences

Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku proclaimed himself "a killer on the field" after scoring his 49th goal for his country in a 4-0 win over Scotland yesterday morning (Singapore time).

Besides smashing scoring records for his country, former Holland and Inter Milan winger Andy van der Meyde believes the Belgian can terrorise defences in Serie A and outscore five-time Ballon d'Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo.

Lukaku's goal and assist in the Euro 2020 qualifying win at Hampden Park maintained the Red Devils' 100 per cent record in Group I after six matches.

The striker, who has 32 goals in his last 30 games for his country, also turned provider for Kevin de Bruyne to score Belgium's fourth goal in Glasgow.

The Manchester City man had set up Belgium's first three goals for Lukaku, Thomas Vermaelen and Toby Alderweireld.

But the night belonged to the new Inter Milan forward, who at just 26 is by far his country's most prolific ever scorer.

Lukaku will be heavily fancied to reach his half-century next month, when Belgium take on minnows San Marino and Kazakhstan.

That would take him a whopping 20 goals clear of second-placed trio Eden Hazard, Bernard Voorhoof and Paul van Himst - who are all on 30 goals.

Said the ex-Manchester United striker: "I'll get to that 50th goal.

"I have to say that I was more concerned with the 30th, when I was able to break the record.

"I don't dream about the 50. I really don't. I'm relaxed. I am a killer on the field, but not next to it. I was happy with that goal.

"It was a long time ago that we had scored another goal on the counter.

"If we can play like this, we are deadly. The best counter-attacking team in the world."

Belgium coach Roberto Martinez, who also managed Lukaku at Everton, said that the striker's £70m-move (S$119m) to Inter from United last month has rejuvenated him.

FREE AND HAPPY

Said Martinez: "This is the first time I have seen him free and happy. Going back to many camps, I have not seen Rom so focused, so happy, so refreshed by the new challenge.

"I think he is now ready to face one of the biggest footballing chapters in his career with the Inter Milan move."

Ex-Everton man van der Meyde believes Lukaku will have no problems rising to the challenge in Italy.

He believes the striker will ripple the net more times in Serie A this season than Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo.

Ronaldo scored 21 goals in 31 league matches last term, while Lukaku is coming off his worst goalscoring season since joining Chelsea in 2011/12.

He scored 15 goals in 45 matches in all competitions for United last season.

Lukaku has scored twice in his first two matches for Inter, one more than Ronaldo.

Van der Meyde told Juvenews.eu: "I think he is made for this league... His strength will put every Italian defence in trouble.

"He has always shown that he can score goals wherever he has played. In my opinion, he will score more goals than Cristiano Ronaldo will this season."

Lukaku's new strike partner Lautaro Martinez is also impressed, telling TyC Sports: "He's a striker with incredible characteristics, he's very powerful. I was surprised by his sheer stature."

However, if former Lazio and AS Roma coach Zdenek Zeman is right, Lukaku will have a hard time outscoring Ronaldo.

He told Corriere dello Sport: "If Ronaldo does what he knows, he reaches 40 goals. If he does less than he knows, he can get close to that figure."


RESULTS

  • Northern Ireland 0 Germany 2
  • Estonia 0 Holland 4
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