Wednesday January 3 2018
Cult hero defends Nainggolan

Serie A cult hero and known smoker Dario Hubner has defended Radja Nainggolan and claims Roma should be “more annoyed” with Patrik Schick.

One of the most prolific strikers to have never played for Italy, Hubner scored more than 250 goals for the likes of Cesena, Brescia and Piacenza and was Serie A’s oldest Capocannoniere until Luca Toni in 2015.

However, the 50-year-old was equally known for his drinking and smoking habits as a player, even puffing away on the substitutes’ bench during matches.

“[Nainggolan] was foolish to put the video online,” he told Il Tempo.

“However, social media can also help you a lot: you can post 3-4 goals you’ve scored 50,000 times and you’ll get called up to your national team.

“Regardless of the cigarettes, Radja is still the best. Someone like him, when he goes out on the pitch, gives his heart and runs twice as much as others, he’s important, if not indispensable, for Roma.

“It seems that now, your appearance and what you think or say counts for more, whereas 30 years ago, the goals were more important.

“I’m convinced that 10 cigarettes to a sportsperson does less harm than five to someone who lives a deskbound life.

“Your lungs are freed up when you train. Nainggolan put up a video of him being tipsy, but who doesn’t drink an extra glass every now and then?

“It’s not like he gets drunk every night, otherwise he wouldn’t be a footballer. Have the club handled the case in the right way? Absolutely.

“Surely, when Radja went to Trigoria, he looked the Coach in the eye and understood that he made a mistake.

“The right thing is to apologise in the dressing room. It should all end there, plus he gives 100 percent on the pitch.

“if I was Di Francesco, I’d be more annoyed about Schick not performing…”

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