Lukaku defended by Carragher after refusing to collect Europa League medal

Jamie Carragher has stuck up for Romelu Lukaku following criticism of the Inter Milan forward for turning down his runners up medal after his side's 3-2 defeat to Sevilla in the Europa League final.

It was an eventful night for the former Manchester United man, with the 27-year-old giving his team the lead with a fifth minute penalty before scoring an own goal 15 minutes from time to hand Sevilla the trophy.

The Belgian international was nowhere to be seen in the medal ceremony after full-time, and some have called him disrespectful for not appearing.

But speaking to CBS Sports, Carragher stated that he could empathise with Lukaku for his no-show.

"In a perfect world everyone goes up and shows sportsmanship," Carragher said. "When you want something so badly and you want to win, and also he’s played a small part in the winning goal at the wrong end, you can react badly to it.

"To be honest if he was one of my team-mates, would I be too bothered? I wouldn’t care to be honest.

"He’s obviously taken the defeat really badly. As long as he’s shook hands with the opposition and showed respect to the opposition players, I think that’s really important.

"Obviously we’ve been in both situations at times with players. If he doesn’t want to collect his medal, someone will give it to him.

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"Antonio Conte may have a word with him, but I don’t think it’ll be the end of the world. I can understand, because I’ve been in those situations myself."

Despite the disappointment of the final Lukaku still had a superb debut season for Inter, scoring 34 goals in all competitions, and he will be hoping he can fire his side to glory next year, with Inter expected to closely challenge Juventus for the Serie A title again.

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