Romelu Lukaku has been given strict instructions to prevail in Sunday afternoon’s Milan derby – by his mum.
According to reports in Belgium, the Inter Milan striker has been told by his mother Adolphine to do whatever it takes to exact revenge on Zlatan Ibrahimovic at the San Siro after the two former Manchester United team-mates fell out spectacularly.
Ibra was accused of telling Lukaku to “go and do your voodoo s***, you little donkey” and to “go and call your mama” after the two powerhouse forwards clashed during Inter’s Coppa Italia quarter-final win over bitter neighbours AC Milan last month.
The Swedish striker was shown a red card, while Lukaku was later suspended for improper conduct after inviting his rival for a fight by saying: “You want to talk about my mum? Let’s go inside.”
Sunday’s game has been billed as ‘the derby of all derbies’ after a huge mural painting of the spat was unveiled close to the stadium shared by both clubs.
The game could have a huge impact on the title race, with both clubs ahead of nine-in-a-row champions Juventus in the table.
Lukaku is top of the Serie A goal charts with 16, level with Juve superstar Cristiano Ronaldo – who has played three fewer games – and just ahead of Ibrahimovic on 14.
Former Inter coach Alberto Zaccheroni said: “Lukaku is now as good as Ronaldo.
“I don’t know who is able to mark him. Without help from team-mates I do not think there is anyone in the league who can.”
Inter will go four points clear of their local rivals with victory on Sunday as they search for their first Serie A title since 2010.
Meanwhile, a win for Milan will hand the Rossoneri a two-point advantage as they bid to end their 10-year wait for a Scudetto.