NIZHNY NOVGOROD, RUSSIA-The minirevolt that started eight months ago, when Sweden toppled Italy in qualifying and barred the four-time champions from the World Cup for the first time since 1958, is blowing up into a full rebellion at the tournament itself.
Argentina was eliminated from World Cup contention in the first of the knockout rounds.
His team are now in a World Cup semi-final, have knocked out the previous favourites, Brazil, and will have France doing a lot of second-guessing in the 48 hours ahead of Tuesday's meeting in St Petersburg.
In most years, a player with Ronaldo's advantage at this stage would virtually have the award secured.
Belgium's approach in the World Cup is not isolated but perhaps a reflection of the pattern of this tournament, at least as far as some of the more successful teams are concerned.
Compelling, that is, until one considers the counter-examples of France and England.
Also striking: the final four teams are all European. "But we said that we're an improving side who want to make our own history".
Widely written off, including by their own supporters, before the tournament began, hosts Russian Federation know they now stand just two matches from the July 15 final at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.
The victor of Tuesday's encounter at Krestovsky Stadium will face the victor of Wednesday's other semifinal between England and Croatia.
It was during the 2016-17 season that Lukaku truly established himself as one of the best strikers in the world, with his 25 goals putting him prominently in the shop window.
"A player can be very good, spectacular even, but they will never be like Pele because he has no heir".
Brazil's conquerers Belgium will now face France next week for a place in the World Cup final - meanwhile, it has been confirmed that Brazil manager Tite will remain in his post despite the disappointing tournament performance.