Lukaku: I would fight to the death for Conte
The Belgian has revealed the advice his manager gave him to help him improve his game following his arrival at San Siro from Manchester United. Romelu Lukaku has claimed that he would “fight to the death” for Antonio Conte while hailing the Inter boss following the team’s 2020-21 Scudetto triumph.
Conte delivered Inter’s first Serie A crown in 11 years at the weekend as his side were crowned champions in the wake of Atalanta’s 1-1 draw with Sassuolo.
Lukaku has made a stellar contribution to the Nerazzurri’s cause, scoring 21 goals in 33 league appearances, and credits his coach for helping to take his game to the next level.
“I would fight to the death for him. I couldn’t join him at Chelsea, but I always said I would play for him the day I left Manchester United,” the Belgian striker told La Tribune.
“Conte told me very directly: ‘If you don’t work in training you won’t play, it’s essential that you know how to play with your back to goal’.
“It’s important to meet people who tell you the absolute truth to help you improve.”
Lukaku began his career at Anderlecht before going on to play for Chelsea, Everton and Manchester United, carving out a reputation as one of the most prolific strikers in the Premier League along the way.
However, the Belgian faced plenty of criticism at United for his perceived lack of quality on the ball and sharpness in the final third, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer eventually taking the decision to move him on in the summer of 2019.
Inter invested £73 million ($101m) in Lukaku, who has repaid every penny of that fee under Conte’s guidance, scoring 61 goals in his first 92 appearances for the club in all competitions.
Lukaku admitted to being relieved after winning only the second trophy of his career in the form of the Serie A title, insisting that he has always valued team silverware above individual records.
“I thought it was now or never,” he added. “In a career you can score 500 goals, but if you don’t win in the end it’s all in vain.”