Euronews is no longer accessible on Internet Explorer. This browser is not updated by Microsoft and does not support the last technical evolutions. We encourage you to use another browser, such as Edge, Safari, Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox.
BREAKING NEWS

Martinez backs 'focused' Lukaku to fire for club and country

Martinez backs 'focused' Lukaku to fire for club and country
Soccer Football - Euro 2020 Qualifier - Belgium Training - Hampden Park, Glasgow, Britain - September 8, 2019 Belgium's Romelu Lukaku during training Action Images via Reuters/Lee Smith -
Copyright
LEE SMITH(Reuters)
Euronews logo
Text size Aa Aa

(Reuters) – Leaving Manchester United for Inter Milan has reinvigorated Romelu Lukaku and the striker is happy and hungry as he enters an important phase of his playing career, Belgium manager Roberto Martinez has said.

Belgium international Lukaku joined Inter last month, ending a two-year spell at United, which began well, but ended with him battling for a place in the team.

The 26-year-old has scored two league goals in as many games in Italy and Martinez is confident Lukaku’s bright start to life in the Serie A can translate into success for the national team.

“This is the first time I’ve seen him free and happy. Going back to many camps, I’ve not seen Rom so focused, so happy, so refreshed by the new challenge,” Martinez told reporters ahead of Monday’s Euro 2020 qualifier in Scotland.

“I think he’s now ready to face one of the biggest chapters in his career with the Inter move. He’s driven to be as good as he can for the national team… I’ve been impressed.”

Lukaku’s short time in Italy has not been without problems, however, with the striker subjected to racist abuse by Cagliari supporters last week.

But Martinez said the incident had not affected Lukaku’s mood during international duty.

“I haven’t seen a difference,” Martinez added.

“It’s true he was sad with the episode he had to go through, but I’m sure that is something that everyone… will try to help him with, and try to eradicate.

“There’s no tolerance for that kind of behaviour.”

Belgium are top of Group I, with 15 points after five wins.

(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

euronews provides breaking news articles from reuters as a service to its readers, but does not edit the articles it publishes. Articles appear on euronews.com for a limited time.