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Romnelu Lukaku says tough upbringing inspired him to international success

Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku says his difficult upbringing inspired him to success with both club and country.

The 25-year-old scored twice yesterday afternoon as Belgium swept aside World Cup debutants Panama in their Group G opener.

His brace took his total to 38 goals in 70 games for his country, extending his lead as Belgium’s top ever goalscorer to eight.

Lukaku also managed 27 goals for United last season in his debut campaign with the Red Devils.

However while everything seems plain sailing these days, Lukaku says things weren’t always so easy growing up.

“If you weren’t with me when I had nothing, then you can’t really understand me,” he said.

“When I went to Chelsea and I wasn’t playing, I heard them laughing at me. When I got loaned out to West Brom, I heard them laughing at me.

“But it’s cool. Those people weren’t with me when we were pouring water in our cereal.”

Lukaku grew up in Antwerp Belgium alongside his brother Jordan – who is also with Belgium in Russia – and began his career Lierse after being spotted by scouts at just the age of nine. He then joined Anderlecht in 2006, before an £18 million move to Chelsea five years later.

The United forward however endured a difficult time at Stamford Bridge, playing just ten times in a frustrating few years – most of which were spent out on-loan with both West Bromwich Albion and Everton.

He eventually earned a £75 million move to Old Trafford last summer after a terrific three seasons with the Toffees, and now the Belgium star says – spurned on his his tough upbringing – his next move his to become a national hero.

“I wanted to be the best footballer in Belgian history. That was my goal. Not good. Not great. The best.

“I played with so much anger, because of a lot of things. Because the rats running around in our apartment. Because I couldn’t watch the Champions League.

“Because of how the other parents used to look at me.”