‘He can’t say that’ – Lukaku hits back at Neville, talks Man Utd, Solskjaer & Sanchez

‘He can’t say that’ – Lukaku hits back at Neville, talks Man Utd, Solskjaer & Sanchez
Romelu Lukaku: Inter Milan striker responds to Gary Neville criticism

Romelu Lukaku has hit back at criticism from Gary Neville by saying the pundit should “never say I am unprofessional”.

The Belgium striker, 26, was also called “overweight” by the former Manchester United defender on Twitter.

Lukaku left the Old Trafford club this summer to join Serie A side Inter Milan for £74m on a five-year deal.

“Don’t question my professionalism,” Lukaku told BBC Sport. “I live for this game. I am at home all the time. I try to do everything to improve.”

In a wide-ranging interview with BBC Sport’s Simon Stone in Milan, Lukaku spoke about:

  • Seeing his Inter move as a blessing but being “grateful” to United
  • Paul Pogba and Alexis Sanchez being “scapegoats” for wider problems at the club
  • Disputing boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s claims of being “unfit”
  • Working under “the best manager in the world” in Antonio Conte
Neville’s tweet which Lukaku took exception to

Former Chelsea and West Brom striker Lukaku joined United from Everton for £75m in 2017, scoring 42 goals in 96 games for the club – but managing just 15 last season.

And, after the appointment of Solskjaer, who replaced the sacked Jose Mourinho last December, he struggled to get into the team with Marcus Rashford preferred up front.

Lukaku said: “He (Neville) can talk about my fitness but he should never say anything about my professionalism, that I don’t work hard enough. That is something he cannot say. All the coaches I have had say the same thing about me.

“What did Ole Gunnar Solskjaer say when I was on the training ground? What did he say? That I always work hard and always do my best to try and improve myself. Same with Jose Mourinho and Roberto Martinez. Now Antonio Conte will say it.

“Last year was just a bad year. It happens in football. You just have to move on. I am not going to sit here and react in a negative way.

“We are grown men. He is a pundit. He gets paid to say this kind of stuff. I am paid to play football. I just want to do my best for Inter Milan. That is it.”

‘I will always be respectful to United’

Lukaku called Conte “the best manager in the world”

Lukaku’s move meant he became the third most expensive signing by a Serie A club after the Juventus duo of Cristiano Ronaldo (£99.2m) and Gonzalo Higuain (£75.3m).

He joins a club which last won a trophy in 2011 when Inter claimed the Italian Cup, while his brother Jordan plays in the league for Lazio.

“I call myself a student of the game,” said Lukaku. “I try to watch as many games as possible. The tactical side was the most important thing for me to improve. I am 26 – I want to improve different aspects of my game.

“When I was growing up, Italy had Ronaldo, Adriano and Zlatan Ibrahimovic. They were three players I looked up to as a kid. For me that was really interesting.

“My brother is playing here. Playing at Inter Milan is a blessing

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Cristiano y Messi hablaron de su relación en la gala del sorteo de la Champions League

Cristiano y Messi hablaron de su relación en la gala del sorteo de la Champions League

El futbolista portugués y el argentino estuvieron presentes en la configuración de los grupos de la próxima edición de la Liga de Campeones. La presentadora del evento les entrevistó a ambos en un momento donde hablaron de su relación.

Cristiano Ronaldo y Lionel Messi estuvieron, una vez más, entre los nominados para hacerse con galardones individuales a raíz de su desempeño en la pasada campaña del máximo torneo continental. Hubo un breve tramo de la ceremonia donde se les hicieron varias preguntas conjuntamente, donde ambos hablaron sobre cómo se llevan. El primero en contestar fue el del FC Barcelona, que dijo lo siguiente:

“Era una rivalidad linda, sobretodo porque estaba en el Real Madrid también, ahora está en un gran equipo también y lo vemos desde España. El de la Juventus, en inglés, incidió en lo mismo: Hemos compartido este escenario quince años, yo y él. No sé si eso ha ocurrido nunca en el fútbol que los dos mismos chicos hayan estado en el mismo escenario todo el tiempo, no es fácil. Por supuesto, tenemos una buena relación. No hemos cenado juntos todavía. En ese momento se produjeron risas entre el público.

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