Throwing a hint that he night not feature in Thursday’s final group game against England, Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku missed training with the rest of the World Cup squad on Tuesday.
Lukaku scored two goals in Belgium’s 5-2 win over Tunisia on Saturday, thus becoming the first player to score multiple goals in consecutive World Cup games since Diego Maradona in 1986.
Belgium manager Roberto Martinez has said he could make wholesale changes now that the top two places in the group have been settled.
“If I was going to speak about every player, I think everyone deserves to play in the World Cup,” Martinez was quoted as saying by ESPNFC.
“So, it’s more important for me to be able to give that opportunity and see how they can react on the pitch and how much they can contribute. Nobody has got a place guaranteed in this team at the moment. That’s the way we are looking at it.”
Lukaku’s four goals so far in Russia have put him one behind top scorer Harry Kane. The Manchester United marksman, though, said it is not the Golden Boot that drives him.
“I restate that the title of top goalscorer doesn’t interest me. My aim is to go as far as possible with this team. All the better if my goals can contribute to that.
“Maradona is one of the greatest players in history. It’s nice. But he has won the World Cup. I’ve won nothing at all. I am keeping my feet on the ground. What I’m interested in is that the team wins,” he said.
“We’re relaxed, but we have to improve our play game after game. We’re nowhere yet. It’s only in the second round that the tournament will start. We’ll only be one of the favourites for the World Cup if we manage to produce such a performance against a big country. Let’s not get carried away,” Lukaku added.
“At the Euros, we had set the bar high, but we didn’t meet expectations. This time, we’re going to try and write history, especially for the boys of that generation who are going to retire.”