Romelu Lukaku determined to impress against Real Madrid in UEFA Super Cup

by Leo Nieboer

Manchester United have never won the UEFA Super Cup, losing to Lazio and Zenit Saint Petersburg in 1999 and 2008 respectively, but Romelu Lukaku will have extra incentive to fire his side to victory in Macedonia on Tuesday.

The Belgian has been here before, back in 2013, coming on in extra time for Chelsea soon after they went ahead through Eden Hazard.

What followed was something of a nightmare for Lukaku, only 20 at the time: a booking, a 120th minute Bayern equaliser, and then a missed penalty that handed Bayern the trophy. He was loaned out to Everton three days later.

Reflecting on that evening and what followed, Lukaku admitted to feeling a need to prove himself further.

“I was 20 and I wasn’t ready to be immediately effective in a top team,” he said.

Speaking before that clash in Prague, Lukaku noted: “It’s a trophy. It’s a cup, a cup with prestige. It is a cup that every club would like to add to their room.”

This time around, however, the stakes are much higher than than that. His missed spot-kick against Bayern was tantamount with being unprepared for the big stage – both in his eyes and that of the watching world, his manager included. More work needed to be done.

Four years and 87 goals later, he is back, leading the line for Mourinho’s United as they embark on a title challenge and Champions League football this season. There is no better – and fitting – time to show the world his readiness to sweep away all before him on both a domestic and continental front over the next year.

 

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