Former Croatia midfielder Ivan Rakitic couldn't resist poking fun at Romelu Lukaku after Belgium were knocked out of this winter's World Cup.
It was a night to forget for Belgium and Lukaku, who missed a handful of glorious chances in the second-half before Roberto Martinez's 'Golden Generation' crashed out.
After the full-time whistle, the unfortunate Lukaku was devastated with his efforts. He found comfort in assistant manager Thierry Henry, who tried to console the former Manchester United forward.
But frustration soon kicked in after Morocco's 2-1 win against Canada was confirmed and he punched the dugout with a hefty right hand.
Lukaku's performance for Belgium, who needed to beat Croatia to qualify, brought plenty of reaction from social media. Even former Croatia midfielder Ivan Rakitic got involved in proceedings.
The 34-year-old, who retired from international football in 2020 after making 106 appearances for the national team, took to Instagram to make his voice heard.
"Let’s go Lukaku!" he said. "We have to pay him a month of vacation in Split. Let’s go!"
Then, after inviting the Chelsea striker to his homeland, Rakitic ended the video by blowing a kiss to the camera. Talk about rubbing it in, Ivan...
Rakitic thanking Lukaku 😂😂 pic.twitter.com/UhdT2gNwyu— CroatianSports (@CroatianSoccer) December 1, 2022
Lukaku's former teammate Ivan Perisic, meanwhile, comforted Lukaku after the full-time whistle on Thursday night.
“I was with him for two or three minutes after the game," he told FIFA+. "This is football, once you score, another time you miss. He’s a really strong player. Now I hope he can win as many trophies as possible with the Inter shirt.
“For us the most important thing was to pass the group. We played a good game, as did they. But I think, considering the three games, we deserved to go ahead in this World Cup.”
Belgium struggled to live up to expectation in Qatar and as a result, manager Roberto Martinez decided to step away from the job after six years.
He said: "That was my last game. It was emotional as you can imagine. The decision was taken just before the World Cup. I always work towards the long-term projects and they need to be set in advance.
"Since 2018 I had many opportunities to leave to take jobs at club level. I always wanted to be loyal and finish the job. I don't resign - it is the end of my contract. That was always the plan."
The former Everton manager then walked backwards out of shot – leading fans to speculate that he 'moonwalked' out of his final interview.
Why did Roberto Martinez moonwalk out of the interview?? 😂 pic.twitter.com/ptyox1CCJB— Gilles 🇳🇬🏴 (@_Grimanditweets) December 1, 2022
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Featured Image Credit: Instagram/ivanrakitic - Alamy
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