Master the art of close-quarter combat with expert advice from Manchester United’s powerhouse striker, Romelu Lukaku. The Belgian international talks to FourFourTwo about how he plays against aggressive defender and play smart when receiving the ball with back to goal.
Relish the challenge
“I don’t mind if a defender gets tight or gives me space because I am looking to become a complete player, and you need to know how to play against either style of defender.
“Every time you come up against a player like this you will improve. If it’s a certain style, get a defender in your club to do recreate it in training.”
Work out how to play against them
“If they are coming tight to you, though, it’s all about doing your research on the player and trying to figure out their weaknesses.
“How are they positioning and shaping their body? How are they using their feet? Try to look at their footwork and see how they move. Are they right or left-footed? If you know which one they use, try to take them on the other foot and see if they can tackle with that. “
They see me rollin’
“As for rolling them, you have to use your arms as your eyes as the ball comes to you. When your back is to goal, feel out what’s going on behind you and what space you have. Then you’re going to use your arm as your pivot. You get it into their chest and that’s where you turn from, giving it your maximum effort to get around them.
“Try to see how they play against other players first – that’s where you can pick out weak spots.”