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‘Give him a vacation in Split!’ - Lukaku trolled by Rakitic after big misses see Belgium crash out of 2022 World Cup against Croatia

12:42 GMT 02/12/2022
Romelu Lukaku Belgium
Croatia legend Ivan Rakitic has trolled Romelu Lukaku after his costly World Cup misses, saying the striker should be given a “vacation in Split.”
  • Striker fluffed his lines at Qatar 2022
  • Red Devils now heading home
  • Croatia march on into the last 16

WHAT HAPPENED? The Belgium international fluffed his lines badly during the final round of Group F fixtures on Thursday, with his inability to find the target resulting in a 0-0 draw that sent the Red Devils crashing out and edged the Croatians through into the last 16. Rakitic, who retired from duty with his country in 2020 with 106 caps to his name, has delighted in seeing Lukaku endure an off day in front of goal and has joked that he should be rewarded with a free holiday by the Adriatic Sea.

WHAT THEY SAID: Rakitic said in a video on Instagram as the final whistle blew in the crunch contest - which he ended by blowing a kiss to the camera: "Let’s go Lukaku! We have to give him a month of vacation in Split. Let’s go!"

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Lukaku was left devastated after drawing a blank against Croatia and punched out a panel in one of the dugouts as his emotions spilled over. Former Inter team-mate Ivan Perisic was among those to try and console the Chelsea-owned frontman, and he told FIFA+ afterwards: I was with him for two or three minutes after the game. 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.”


WHAT NEXT? A last-16 encounter with Japan on Monday is next up for Croatia, while Lukaku and Belgium’s so-called ‘Golden Generation’ are preparing to head home after another disappointing showing at a major tournament that has seen manager Roberto Martinez walk away from his post.