Inter’s former striker Adriano believes the Nerazzurri have found his natural successor in Romelu Lukaku.

Lukaku was a key figure in Inter’s charge towards the Serie A title this season, scoring 23 league goals for Antonio Conte’s side and hardly missing a single game.

Adriano is on excellent terms with Lukaku – who is anxiously awaiting news on Conte’s future – and believes there are similarities between the two strikers.

“Romelu is very similar to me in many ways, not only for his physical strength and his left foot,” the Brazilian, who scored 74 goals in 177 appearances for Inter, told Gazzetta dello Sport for Wednesday’s print edition.

“He’s also humble like me and he has a very strong bond with his family.

“He’s a unique player with great technique, nobody can stop Lukaku.

“Imagine if we’d ever played together… mamma mia!”

Adriano first made contact with Lukaku during an Instagram live broadcast from Inter during the first COVID-19 lockdown last year.

The pair have since formed a close bond, as Adriano explained when asked to discuss his friendship with the Belgian.

“We’d never spoken to each other before the Instagram live, but from that day we started sending each other messages because he speaks Portuguese,” Adriano explained.

“He’s a powerful presence on the pitch and an incredible person off it.

“I’m very proud to see Lukaku become my ‘successor’ at Inter.”

Adriano admitted he hadn’t seen too many of Inter’s games this season, but that wasn’t because he didn’t care about his former club’s fortunes.

On the contrary, L’Imperatore explained: “Whenever I watch games, I get very nervous like real fans.

“I’ve followed them throughout the season though and I toasted their Scudetto with my family, it was beautiful.

“I never had any doubts it would end like this, with a victory.”

Adriano insisted he wasn’t surprised to see Conte managing Inter, despite his past at Juventus, and backed him to make progress in Europe.

“I’m not surprised at all, I remember Conte well as a player and Conte the coach is there for all to see,” he added.

“He did and still does his job in a really excellent fashion.”

Adriano also discussed his three Serie A titles from his time at Inter and sent a friendly message to his former captain, Javier Zanetti.

“I don’t have a preference between the Scudetti, I’m attached to all of them because they were important for me,” he said.

“Inter remain part of my life, I’m really proud to have been part of their great history.

“The Nerazzurri fans are incredible: I loved them and I still do.

“I’d like to congratulate Zanetti as well for the role he’s fulfilling (vice-president) and for the work he’s doing.

“The Scudetto is a deserved reward for Javier and I hope I can embrace him again soon.”