Former Chelsea boss Roberto di Matteo has backed Romelu Lukaku to impress in the UEFA Champions League, comparing the Belgian to Didier Drogba in Chelsea’s Champions League success in 2012.
Di Matteo had taken Chelsea to a highly unlikely Champions League win in 2012 and comparisons can be drawn to the sort of challenge Inter face against Manchester City in the final on Saturday. The odds are stacked against the Nerazzurri and Lukaku can play a vital role, having previously played against City as a Manchester United and Chelsea player.
Di Matteo has managed Lukaku during his time at Stamford Bridge and he recently spoke to La Gazzetta dello Sport about the striker and compared him to Drogba, who was vital in the final against Bayern Munich in 2012 and scored the winning penalty.
“I start by saying that I like Lautaro and Barella a lot. They have Premier League engines, they are two dangers for City. The Drogba of this Inter, however, is my friend Romelu: I met him at 19 at Chelsea, when I was assistant to Villas Boas. He was incredibly hungry. I can say that, if he’s well, he really rocks the world. He’s a beast that doesn’t stop. And now he seems to be fine.”
Di Matteo also spoke about the comparison between his Chelsea side and the Inter side, with the Nerazzurri going into the game as the underdogs – similar to what happened when the Blues took on Bayern Munich in 2012.
He said: “We were underdogs, the whole world knew it! And Inter, in fact, are too.The comparison doesn’t quite fit because City don’t play at home and Inzaghi’s team is complete. Guardiola has an incredible team, but Inter have chances. My Chelsea teaches that with the right motivation, any feat can be achieved.”
Kaustubh Pandey | GIFN