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Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku has dismissed what he describes as "useless" comparisons to Cristiano Ronaldo, after the Portuguese star was re-signed by Manchester United on Deadline Day.
Just like Ronaldo, the 28-year-old rejoined his former club this summer in a £94m deal, but he seemingly isn't comfortable with direct comparisons between the pair just yet - despite his fine form for club and country.
The point of contention is over international goals, as Ronaldo reaching a record 111 for Portugal against Ireland last week has led to some suggestions that Lukaku could one day surpass the 36-year-old's tally.
:flag_be: Romelu Lukaku's first 50 caps for Belgium: 18 goals- WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) September 6, 2021
:flag_be: Romelu Lukaku's last 50 caps for Belgium: 50 goals pic.twitter.com/uvfZxRTb2M
The former Inter Milan marksman is currently sitting on 66 goals for Belgium, and will be hoping to add to that on Sunday when the Red Devils take on the Czech Republic.
With plenty of years left in him, the task of reaching over 100 international goals seems feasible for Lukaku - but the player himself isn't setting sights on Ronaldo's record for the time being.
"Don't ever compare me to Cristiano Ronaldo, never," Lukaku told members of the media at a press conference.
"Cristiano Ronaldo is, for me, in the top three best players in the history of football," he continued. "I'm not going to rank him from first to third but he's in there.
"What he has achieved in football today for players of my generation is something exceptional."
:speaking_head:Romelu Lukaku-"Don't ever compare me to Cristiano Ronaldo,never. Cristiano Ronaldo is,for me,in the top three best players in the history of football. I'm not going to rank him from first to third but he's in there"#Lukaku #Ronaldo #MUFC pic.twitter.com/XJbjMTT2BG- Philip Alimo (@alimo_philip) September 5, 2021
Both forwards are now back in the Premier League, which will inevitably lead fans and pundits alike to draw comparisons between them.
However, as much as a manufactured rivalry is now inevitable, especially with the duo leading the line for two of England's biggest clubs, Lukaku doesn't believe that comparisons serve much of a purpose.
Going head-to-head for goalscoring accolades will be familiar to both players, who were also vying for the Golden Boot in Serie A last season.
"I was lucky enough to play against him in Italy and now that he's back in the Premier League, it's all good for English football," the Belgian added.
"As for the rest, comparing statistics and all that, it's useless."
Words by Tom Fenton.