Once again stating that he would retire from the Belgium national team after the 2020 Euros, Romelu Lukaku is causing quite a stir in his home country.
The Manchester United striker’s comments have led the likes of Kevin Mirallas and Vincent Kompany to come out and say they didn’t believe their national teammate one bit, and expected him to still be around for the 2022 World Cup.
Not only that, but the local press, who know how valuable the Belgian is to Roberto Martinez’s plans and any success their country might have in Qatar, are starting to plead him to stay.
DH journalist Yves Taildeman went as far as presenting Lukaku with 43 reasons – one for every goal the forward has scored for Belgium – why making a U turn on his retirement decision is what’s best for him and his country.
Here are some of the best ones:
1. You always aim higher, meaning you’ll have to try once more to win it
6. Another objective in your career, winning the Ballon d’Or. Without a World Cup, it would be quite difficult.
9. Your presence at a World Cup has to have an incredible impact on your marketing value. Jay-Z’s company who manage your assets couldn’t ask for more than seeing you in Qatar and America.
12. For multiculturalism: Born in Antwerp to Congolese parents, adopted by Brussels and perfectly trilingual, you represent your country across the world.
19. You dedicate each goal to your mum. Of course your parents are thrilled when you score for United, but their excitement and pride are even greater when it’s for Belgium.
23. You aren’t going to stay at Manchester United your whole life. Real Madrid tempts you? Stats prove it. A good World Cup helps to pull off big transfers.
27. You have friends among the biggest celebrities in the world. The rapper Jay-Z, but also DJ Khaled, a hip-hop star, are your friends. They are proud to have a player shining at the World Cup.
29. You still think a chunk of the Belgian press aren’t fans of you. You’re wrong. You’ve even convinced your detractors.
33. In eight years, you’ve had a few injuries, but you’ve never been out for months. You are made out of reinforced concrete.
39. You want to focus entirely on Manchester United, but when you come back from international duty after a win, you must feel like you’re walking on air. It’s sometimes good to leave your club, especially when things aren’t working out.
43. The most important reason has nothing to do with Manchester United, with money, fatigue or lack of respect. You are proud to be Belgian, and you therefore don’t abandon your colours.
Nothing like a good old guilt trip, right?