‘Zlatan changed me’: Lukaku on his 'eye-opening' training clash with Ibrahimovic
Romelu Lukaku has revealed how a 50-50 challenge with Zlatan Ibrahimovic in Manchester United training helped changed his attitude and work ethic.
Ibrahimovic, who left United for LA Galaxy a year ago, spent almost two years at Old Trafford and found himself competing with Lukaku for a starting spot upon the Belgian’s arrival in the summer of 2017.
And Lukaku says it was a clash with Ibrahimovic during a competitive training match which inspired him into a new way of thinking.
“Everything I learned from Zlatan was great, from his stories that he told me when he was at Inter, AC Milan, Barcelona and even Ajax, to being on the field working with him, seeing how competitive he was,” said Lukaku, as quoted on Manchester United’s website.
“I remember one training session,” Lukaku continued. “Because we were both strikers, we were never on the same team and, at one point, there was a 50/50 challenge. He went full-on against me!
" That is when I knew this guy wants to compete and this guy wants to fight for his spot. That is why he changed me. It was an eye-opener. The guy had to fight to be in the position he is in. "
“So, I learned just to focus, work hard and enjoy it as well. Because he is a guy who you can have a lot fun with as well and having his personality in the dressing room was good.”