Belgium’s Romelu Lukaku moved closer to his desire to be considered more of an all-round footballer with an assist that set up Kevin De Bruyne for the decisive goal in Friday’s World Cup quarter-final win over Brazil.
The powerfully built striker showed a quick turn of pace as he moved out of defence after Belgium won possession from a corner, crossing the halfway line and driving upfield before feeding De Bruyne, who then advanced a few metres before striking a superb shot into the corner.
It ensured Belgium a 2-0 half-time lead and although Brazil pulled one back after the interval, proved the difference at the Kazan Arena, propelling Belgium to the last four of the World Cup for only the second time.
“Everyone thinks Romelu Lukaku is just about goals, goals, goals,” said the Manchester United player, “but I want to be seen as an all-rounder. Providing assists is also important and this year I have provided more than ever.
“Of course, I want to score but, at the same time, I try to work as hard as I can for the team. I don’t have to prove myself any more (as a goal-scorer). Everyone knows I can score with every chance provided to me in the box, but the individual doesn’t count here.”
For De Bruyne, the euphoria that followed Friday’s win needs some tempering with nothing achieved yet by Belgium’s “golden generation”.
“In football it’s all about the winning of titles and it is when I’ve won trophies that I have had my greatest memories in the game. Scoring against Brazil is not the best moment of my career.
“We haven’t won the World Cup. For that we still need to win two more matches,” De Bruyne added.
It starts with the semi-final against France in St Petersburg on Tuesday and if Belgium, who previously got to the 1986 semi-finals, win that, the final in Moscow next Sunday.