The boy I knew has become a man-Didier Drogba

Didier Drogba reflects on the development of Lukaku from a raw Belgian talent to a World Cup golden boot contender

Ivorian and Chelsea football legend Didier Drogba has stated that the Lukaku has grown from boy he knew with raw talent into a man that is prime for the big time. In speaking to the BBC, Drogba did state that has had a special relationship with Lukaku the since the latter’s days with Anderletct in Belgium

Romelu is a player and person I have a special relationship with. I have known him for seven years, since he first came to Chelsea at the age of 18 in 2011, and we are really close.

He is more than my very good friend, he is a kid I love and he is like my younger brother - someone I have always tried to help.The first time I spoke to Romelu, he was a young boy and still at Anderlecht.

My friend Vincent Kompany put him on the phone and Romelu told me he was a big Chelsea fan and I was his idol - he had my name on the back of his shirt, and a poster of me on his wall.

Lukaku has netted 4 goals so far in the ongoing 2018 FIFA World Cup and Didier Drogba has stated that all that will be owed to hardwork character from Manchester United forward

“I know things have not always been easy for him but the reason he is doing so well in Russia is down to the character he has shown throughout his career and the hard work he has put in to get here.

Of course, Belgium are creating lots of chances for him - if you have Eden Hazard, Kevin de Bruyne and Dries Mertens behind you, then as a striker you know they will provide food for you.

But the rest is down to him. I had service like that at Chelsea, and I always thought to myself: 'If you don't eat well now, then you are the one responsible.'”

Drogba did make the assertion that Lukaku has obviously improved from the raw talent from his days at Chelsea to a perfectionist in front of goal

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“As we have seen, he is not missing now - he has scored four goals from five shots in the two games he has played so far - and I would put that down to the fact that, as a player, he is a perfectionist.

If you have a desire to always improve like he does, then in the end it pays off.

Right from the start, he had to work hard. I remember when he first came to the club he was not doing the full training sessions sometimes - they would take him to one side and make him work on his first touch, his passing - everything.

When he was young he was very raw. Powerful and physical, yes - always.

I always challenged him and told him that he needed to get leaner and he would be a different player - faster, and more agile at moving and turning.

He has done that. When I look at the player he is now and the one he was seven years ago, there is a big difference. If you go through the different parts of his game, there is quality everywhere.”

Belgium qualified atop of Group G ahead of England Tunisia and Panama.

Belgium face of with Japan at the round of 16 stage at the Rostov Arena in the 2018 Russia World Cup

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