Belgium can't expect Lukaku to do it all - Kompany

The 21-year-old is hoping to catch the eye of potential suitors at the World Cup, but the Manchester City captain believes it would be unfair to expect too much of him
By Liam Twomey at Estadio Maracana

Vincent Kompany insists it would be unfair for Belgium to put too much pressure on Romelu Lukaku at the World Cup.

A number of strikers have already made a mark in the tournament, most notably Karim Benzema, Neymar and Robin van Persie, and Lukaku spoke publicly in the build-up to the competition about the importance of performing well as he seeks a move away from Chelsea this summer.

But as Belgium prepare to face Russia at the Maracana on Sunday knowing a win would secure them a place in the knockout stage, Kompany remains adamant that it is the more experienced squad members who must step up.

"He’s 21, so he’s probably got at least two more [World Cups] and maybe more," the Manchester City captain said. "There’s no pressure on his shoulders.

"If he performs well we’ll be happy, but the most important thing is he puts his performance for the benefit of the group.

"He’s got tremendous talent but we can’t put too much pressure on a 21-year-old kid to do it all for us in the World Cup. There are older guys in the team who have more responsibility."

Kompany has been struggling with a groin problem in recent weeks but is optimistic that it will not affect his chances of making a full contribution to Belgium's World Cup campaign.

"I followed a special programme and it went well, and if everything goes well in the group training I will not have to worry anymore," he added.

"It’s the World Cup and every game is important, and in the worst case scenario there are other good players available for the coach. But I feel good."

Belgium's clash with Russia will see Marc Wilmots pit his wits against Fabio Capello, and the former Standard Liege midfielder spoke of his respect for the Italian's career achievements.

"It could be a very tactical match," he admitted. "Capello has worked in great clubs and has a beautiful track record. We will see what he does with the line-up but it’s important for us to close the spaces on them."