Radja Nainggolan has explained that the attraction of Roma’s project made them his first choice in leaving Cagliari.
The midfielder this week completed a switch out to the Italian capital on an initial six-month loan deal, after links to the likes of Napoli, Milan, Inter and previously Juventus.
With those in mind, the 25-year-old today explained at his official presentation why he opted to join Rudi Garcia’s side.
“Roma tried to sign me last year. The project following a disappointing year is important, there were other teams, but I think that this project is the best for me and that is why I have chosen Roma,” Nainggolan explained to reporters.
“Certainly it is very important to play for this team, they have invested in me. I am looking to repay everyone, demonstrating so with my performances in the field.
“Do I have a mindset to help Roma win? I have always given everything with my focus, whilst there are clubs where you can win and others where it is more difficult.
“I am convinced that this team can do well and cause trouble for many teams. I will try to provide my contribution and to win something.
“I think the ambition of every player is to get as high as possible. I have come to Roma with the thought of doing well here and getting as high as I can.
“Yes [we are in the title race], because it is only eight points and Juventus still have to play here [in Rome]. Roma cannot go wrong too many times more, but as long as the maths make it possible, you have to believe.
“My preferred role? I have played four years as an inside-left midfielder, but I will do my best anywhere, to help the team.
“Team selection will be down to the Coach. I am convinced of my qualities, I am a fighter and I will try to make it difficult for the Coach.
“Here there is great competition and it is more difficult to play, but I believe that I can play with everyone.”
Nainggolan was thrown into the starting XI on Thursday evening for his Giallorossi debut in the Coppa Italia Last 16 win over Sampdoria.
“I immediately have felt at home, it is not easy to come into a group that is doing good things. I must try to adjust myself to the team’s game, I have to do more, but I feel that my debut went well and I am happy for the win.
“How have Roma changed this year? I believe that last year they were playing a lot in the attack, whilst the defence was not so solid.
“The team has become more compact, whilst with the enthusiasm from the first 10 weeks, there is an incentive to do well.”
The player was asked of the origins of his nickname ‘Ninja’.
“It is probably from the Cagliari fans, named for the determination that I show in the field. Having a little the oriental to me, they have given me that name.”