Romelu Lukaku reveals why he left Manchester United, “nobody trains as hard” as Inter and thanks Antonio Conte for insulting him in front of the whole team.
The Belgium international has made a real impact at San Siro, scoring 18 goals in 26 competitive games this season after leaving Manchester United.
“I think I had to rediscover myself. Last year was difficult for me on the professional side, because stuff was not going how I wanted and I was not performing as well,” he told Sky Sports UK.
“So I had to find it within myself what was lacking and came to the conclusion that it was time for me to change environment. I made my decision around March, and I went to the manager's office and told him it was time for me to find something else. I think it was better for both sides to go separate ways. I think I made the right decision.”
Conte has wanted to work with Lukaku for many years and now they are finally making the most of it.
“I remember in the first training sessions when I was there, the physical work, I was not used to this. We are talking about the Premier League being physically the toughest league, but the training sessions that we do - nobody trains as hard as us. Never. You're really at your fittest.
“For me, I remember the first two weeks when I came, I spoke to my agent and said, 'I'm suffering a lot in training because I never did this type of work'. But Conte is always there at the sidelines encouraging every player to do the work.
“When I was looking around me no one was moaning, everyone was getting on with it. So for me it was something special because sometimes coaches are on the sidelines making jokes because you can't do it.
But he is there on the sideline wanting you to do more, encouraging you to do more. It can be as hard as you imagine, but no player will give up because he will give you that energy to keep going. That shows in the intensity on the pitch.
“We are the team that runs the most, we create a lot of chances and we have a great defence because we don't give up until the end. It's great to see and for me it was like, 'finally my full potential can come out'.
“The manager, he tells it straight to your face if you're doing well or wrong. I remember one of my first Champions League games against Slavia Prague when I played really bad - like I was trash that day - and I really got it from him in front of the whole team. It had never really happened to me [in my career]. It had never happened.
“And we played the Milan derby just after that and I played one of my best games of the season. He just gave me that - he stepped on my confidence but it woke me up at the same time. He does it to everybody, it doesn't matter who you are. Everybody is equal.
“You work hard, you train hard and you play. If you don't do what he says, you don't play. You know where you stand - and that's what I respect about him.”
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