By 90Min
July 14, 2018

Belgium manager Roberto Martinez has insisted that he would not swap Romelu Lukaku for Harry Kane as the race for the World Cup's Golden Boot moves into its final stages.

The Premier League duo are set to go head-to-head for the title of the top goalscorer in Russia when Belgium meet England in the third place playoff on Saturday, with the Tottenham man holding a two goal buffer over the Manchester United striker. 

Kane has netted six goals while Lukaku has managed four, but while those outside the two camps place their bets on who will end the tournament with the crown, Martinez is adamant that his leading man is not interested in personal accolades. 

“It’s a difficult question because I’m biased. I worked with him when he was a kid, when he was 19, his power and pace, he can be strong in the air and he’s a goalscorer," Martinez explained, via the Mirror

“If you look at his record he is phenomenal. It’s a difficult question because I love working with him and it’s an honour for me as a manager.

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“Romelu had a great chance to score against Japan but instead provided one of the best assists of the tournament. That sums up his mindset. Romelu wants to succeed for the team, he’s more interested in that than any individual awards.”

While the 45-year-old praised England's efforts in Russia, the Belgium boss was firmly of the belief that his side were deserving of a third place finish. 

He added: “England are a really good team, they have made great progress from the youth teams, through St George’s Park, and now it is paying off and they look a very good team.

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"There might be some different faces. My birthday present would be just to win. That’s the only target. We arrived into Russia on June 13 and it’s been an incredible experience and I think every Belgium fan deserves that winning feeling.


“We don’t want to take anything but a positive feeling out of the World Cup.”

Furthermore, while Belgium came close to securing a final berth Martinez has not been exempt from criticism, and although he only signed a new two-year deal in May he could not guarantee staying in his role beyond the tournament.

He added: “No I can’t. Because if I lose two games then you (the media) will hound me out!” 

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