Romelu Lukaku: Former Manchester United striker unaffected by racial abuse, says Belgium boss Roberto Martinez

Belgium boss Roberto Martinez believes Romelu Lukaku will be unaffected by recent racial abuse.

The 26-year-old was subjected to monkey chants while stepping up and scoring a penalty in Inter Milan’s 2-1 win over Cagliari last weekend.

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Romelu Lukaku was racially abused in just his second game in Italy
AFP

Inter Milan’s ultras even released a bizzare statement insisting the monkey chants were NOT racist.

Martinez, who managed Lukaku at Everton, said: “Romelu is one of those modern footballers, he was born with attention. He had the media following him around in Belgium since he was 16.

“He had the expectations of a team that had to win at Anderlecht with Champions League participation.

“Then he had a big transfer to Chelsea, had his time at West Brom, then handled big transfers to Everton, Manchester United and now Inter.

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Roberto Martinez has backed Romelu Lukaku to shine for Inter Milan amid the racial abuse
AFP

“Romelu doesn’t get affected. He is one of the most driven boys you can see. His life is football, he lives to score goals. So I haven’t seen a difference.

“It is true he was sad with the episode he had to go through but I’m sure that is something everyone in football will try to help him and hopefully people running football will eradicate it.”

Lukaku, who completed a £72million move to Inter from Manchester United last month, is set to lead the line for Belgium when they take on Scotland in a Euro 2020 qualifier on Monday.

He has scored in his first two games for the Serie A giants – and Martinez feels his player is thriving again after a frustrating two-year spell at Old Trafford.

The Spaniard added: “In the June camp I saw Romelu was free on the pitch and performed very well but he was quite concerned off it.

“This is the first time I have seen him happy going back many, many camps. He is so focused and refreshed by his new challenge.”

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