Inter striker Romelu Lukaku made his debut in the 2022 World Cup in Qatar after contributing from the bench, but couldn’t prevent Belgium falling to a surprise 2-0 defeat to Morocco.
The centre-forward has been struggling with muscular problems all season since returning on loan from Chelsea.
He made only five appearances for the club this term, still managing to score two goals and provide an assist.
His presence at the tournament in Qatar was in doubt to the last moment, having played only 29 minutes of football since August 26.
Even when he was on the bench today, Lukaku still made an impact, as he gave the pre-match speech to his teammates on the field, then was seen whispering advice in the ear of Kevin De Bruyne ahead of a throw-in.
Lukaku did manage to make his comeback ahead of schedule, coming off the bench at the 81st minute with Belgium a goal down to Morocco.
He barely got near the ball and could only watch as Zakaria Aboukhlal sealed the 2-0 result for Morocco, after Sampdoria midfielder Abdelhamid Sabiri had curled in a free kick from a tight angle.
Lukaku will be hoping to play a bigger role in the third and now crucial group game against Marcelo Brozovic’s Croatia on Thursday December 1.