Ronaldo easier to mark than Lukaku – Italy defender Acerbi

Carlo Garganese
Carlo Garganese Updated: 27 Jun 2021 15:10 CEST 3 min read
Romelu Lukaku and Cristiano Ronaldo, Man Utd v Juventus, 2018

Italy defender Francesco Acerbi believes that it is easier to mark Belgium star Romelu Lukaku than Portugal icon Cristiano Ronaldo.

The two superstars face off on Sunday as Belgium take on Portugal in the last 16 at Euro 2020.

Both strikers have been in fantastic form at the Euros so far, with Ronaldo top-scoring with five goals and Lukaku in joint-second with three strikes.

Italy will play the winner of this clash in the next round, so who does Italy centre-back Acerbi believe is harder to mark?

Lukaku harder to mark than Ronaldo

Romelu Lukaku, Belgium, Euro 2020

Romelu Lukaku, Belgium, Euro 2020

“Maybe Lukaku,” Acerbi told reporters after Italy’s 2-1 win over Austria on Saturday. “Because he’s a complete player, as well as Cristiano Ronaldo, who always scores.

“Cristiano Ronaldo is the classic forward, but he is more markable than Lukaku.”][]}

“As a centre-forward, Lukaku is more difficult to mark because he has more physique, he has power and is a bit more of a striker.

“Cristiano Ronaldo is the classic forward, but he is more markable than Lukaku.”

Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal, Euro 2020

Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal, Euro 2020

Italy beat Austria at Euro 2020

Italy defeated Austria after extra time at Wembley, with Federico Chiesa and Matteo Pessina coming off the bench to score the goals for the Azzurri.

Lazio stopper Acerbi, who was filling in for the injured Giorgio Chiellini, admits that Italy were far from their best on Saturday.

“We were bad, but also efficient,” he said. “Austria closed down and maybe we were a bit tense. Maybe we had to dribble a little more at certain times in the match, but this is a game that is won in a dirty way.

“When you play an in or out game, there’s a bit of fear. You are aware of your strengths but also aware of the strengths of the opponent, because Austria have great players. They are strong, physical and capable of putting you in difficulty.

“We knew it would that from the second phase it would be difficult, especially mentally.

“Now every game is important. Being a bit tense is normal. Now, we’ll meet either Belgium or Portugal, then if we win it’s France, they are strong teams, which perhaps will make you play better. But they have much more quality.”

Italy will play their quarter-final against Belgium or Portugal on Friday in Munich, Germany.