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Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo says that young Anderlecht striker Romelu Lukaku is a ''fantastic young player'' and will be watching his career closely.

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Lukaku, who has been likened to Chelsea striker Didier Drogba, has been being tracked by Real Madrid with Jose Mourinho keen to strengthen his strikeforce. And now Ronaldo has spoken of his admiration for the 17-year-old.

"I made a decision [to leave] that paid off but it's not for me to give advice to Lukaku," the Portugal international told reporters. "He has to make his own choice but I'm sure that he will have a great career.

"At 17 when he is not playing in a major championship, he has managed to make himself known to many people like me. I think that he's a really fantastic young player.

"I'm curious to see what he will do in the coming months or at the end of the season. But Lukaku is on track; he must continue to work this way."

Lukaku, already a Belgian international, was pleased with the praise from Ronaldo and claims he hopes to follow in his footsteps.

"It's obviously a great honour for me that a player of such a high level has made such an elegant comment. Cristiano is an example that I hope I will be able to follow," he told


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