'Lukaku shouldn't be allowed to play!' - Man Utd & Belgium striker 'too big and too strong', says Ferdinand

The ex-Red Devils defender says the current star at Old Trafford is making World Cup competition look like playground football with his power and pace

Romelu Lukaku “shouldn’t be allowed to play”, says Rio Ferdinand, with the Manchester United striker making World Cup competition with Belgium look like playground football.

The burly frontman headed to Russia this summer on the back of a debut campaign at Old Trafford which delivered 27 goals.

With his confidence high, the 25-year-old has proved to be an inspirational presence for the other Red Devils that he represents.

Lukaku has netted four goals so far, while it was his surging run which allowed Kevin De Bruyne to net a crucial second in a 2-1 quarter-final victory over Brazil.

Former United defender Ferdinand is among those to have been impressed by a striker who can look unplayable on his day, telling BBC Sport: “It's like playing in the school playground and you have a 16-year-old playing against the 11-year-olds.

“It's like that he's too big and too strong for everyone.

“He almost shouldn't be allowed to play with them!'”

Lukaku is pleased with his contribution to Belgium’s World Cup cause so far, with a prolific marksman eager to point out that he wants to offer more than just end product.

He told reporters after booking a semi-final berth with France: “Everyone thinks Romelu Lukaku is just about goals, goals, goals, but I want to be seen as an all-rounder.

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“Providing assists is also important, and this year I have provided more than ever. Of course I want to score but, at the same time, I try to work as hard as I can for the team.

“I don't have to prove myself any more [as a goal scorer]. Everyone knows I can score with every chance provided to me in the box, but the individual doesn't count here.”

Belgium will face France in St Petersburg on Tuesday, with the Red Devils’ so-called ‘Golden Generation’ looking to deliver on the promise that they have shown for a number of years.