With Lukaku firm on following the steps of his idol, there is a possibility that it was the Belgian himself who volunteered to take the fifth shot hoping to emulate Drogba's heroic strike. If a week ago pundits were comparing Lukaku with Drogba, Friday's episode has separated both strikers into complete opposite realities.
Drogba & Lukaku, Friends with Opposite Stories
The 20-year old Belgian striker, Romelu Lukaku, experienced a harsh moment in his career that no young player should have to go through. After nine superb penalty kick attempts, all the pressure was on Lukaku in the UEFA Super Cup. Not only that, in front of him, he had Manuel Neuer, a towering keeper that has the size and agility to intimidate anyone standing from 11 steps away. Missing the shot crushed Lukaku, but his friend and former teammate Didier Drogba was quick to stand up for the youngster.
Often, Lukaku has been compared to Didier Drogba for his size, power, and skills, however, the Belgian youngster has been smart to never accept the comparisons. This summer, Romelu Lukaku went as far as saying that Didier Drogba is like a father to him. And Drogba is taking his role of a father figure seriously.
The Ivorian posted an image on Instagram of the two at a charity event and added an inspiring message for the frustrated Lukaku.
Drogba's words of support come as a way to stop Chelsea fans from targeting low blows at Lukaku, and for the youngster to continue his path towards a brilliant career. Let's not forget that it was Didier Drogba who took the decisive penalty kick in the 2012 Champions League final handing Chelsea their first taste of European glory. With Lukaku firm on following the steps of his idol, there is a possibility that it was the Belgian himself who volunteered to take the fifth shot hoping to emulate Drogba's heroic strike. If a week ago pundits were comparing Lukaku with Drogba, Friday's episode has separated both strikers into complete opposite realities.
Didier Drogba became an icon at Stamford Bridge and his name will surely register in the minds of Chelsea fans for years to come. Although the Super Cup title does not carry the weight of winning a Champions League, missing the fifth and decisive penalty will be a heavy load for the Belgian youngster. Even experienced world class players like Arjen Robben have suffered the consequences of missing in clutch situations such as this one. Robben missed a penalty kick in the Champions League final and refused to take one during the penalty shootout earning harsh criticism from media worldwide for his weak personality. Robben's miss has haunted him ever since to the extent that he has not taken another important penalty kick yet, but has overcome the criticisms after scoring the key goal in the last Champions League final against Borussia Dortmund and leading his side to winning the treble.
For Lukaku to overcome this dark episode in his young career, he must not be afraid of taking future chances like this one. Drogba's words are encouraging of course, but only Lukaku can cure himself of this awful disease called stage fright. Opportunity for revenge may come soon and the 20-year old striker will have to prove what he is made of.