LA Lakers Kobe Bryant the inspiration for Chelsea and Belgium footballer Lukaku

Kobe Bryant

The Belgium striker said he is inspired by LA Lakers star's passion and will to win.

Chelsea and Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku has revealed an unlikely source of inspiration in Kobe Bryant, the star shooting guard for the NBA's Los Angeles Lakers.

Bryant, 35, is a five-time NBA champion, a renowned winner and a fierce competitor, and in an interview with HLN Belgium Lukaku declared his admiration for the American.

"I admire his ambition, his desire to be the best," the 21-year-old striker said. "Even at his age, he is still there for that aggression to be the best, the team's main man, the winner.

"I have to drive too. I had only one example in football, Didier Drogba, but my biggest idol in sport has always been Kobe. To me, he is everything."

Bryant is a big football fan after spending much of his childhood growing up in Italy. He is currently in Brazil watching the World Cup, and recently starred alongside Lionel Messi in an advertising campaign for Turkish Airlines.

He will no doubt be pleased to hear Lukaku's flattering remarks, and perhaps we'll see him in the stands at Belgium's next group game.

Although Lukaku says Didier Drogba is a source of inspiration for him, in comes in a different form to his admiration for Bryant.

"He watches my matches on TV and tells me sometimes what I do wrong", he said of the 36-year-old frontman.

Lukaku models his game on Drogba's as a big, powerful centre-forward known for excellent hold-up play and clinical finishing. With three Premier League titles, four FA Cups and a Champions League win to his name, the Ivorian is as decorated in football as Bryant is in the NBA, and Lukaku could certainly choose worse career paths to follow.

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