Roberto Martinez confirms Romelu Lukaku is fit to face Japan

by Leo Nieboer

Belgium boss Roberto Martinez has confirmed Romelu Lukaku is “100 percent” fit to face Japan on Monday night.

The Manchester United forward enjoyed an explosive start to the World Cup, scoring braces in wins over Panama and Tunisia.

He picked up an ankle injury against the latter, however, and was rested for the 1-0 win over England as a result.

But Martinez has made it clear that Lukaku will be featuring against Japan in Rostov as Belgium look to book a quarter final spot against either Brazil or Mexico.

“He trained today and has no problems,” he said. “He’ll be available (to face Japan), 100 percent.”

Lukaku has taken this World Cup by storm. Even when he wasn’t playing against England he was standing in the middle of the Belgium huddle ahead of the game, giving his teammates instructions and motivation, speaking with authority and with passion like the side’s de facto captain.

It is easy to forget he is just 25, such is the maturity with which he conducts himself and expectation he puts on his shoulders. He may be a natural goalscorer, an excellent hold up play technician, a supreme motivator and physical presence – but his greatest tool is without doubt his mind.

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