Tuesday April 24 2018
Nainggolan: ‘No motivation needed’

Roma midfielder Radja Nainggolan admits “certain games give you motivation in of themselves” ahead of the Liverpool first leg.

The Giallorossi are in England for tonight’s Champions League semi-final clash in front of a sold-out Anfield.

“I think certain games give you motivation in of themselves,” Nainggolan told Roma’s Match Programme.

“You don’t need to manage your energy, you might feel some pain or be tired but your legs pump just the same on their own.

“For example, a game like the one against Barcelona brings you energy. They are nice games to play, they give you something more.

“I hope we’ll all feel that same emotion against Liverpool.

“People expected better in the league and I can agree with that, but no-one expected us to get to the Champions League semi-finals.

“We lose something in the league, but we did something more in Europe. I can’t say we’re satisfied overall, but we’re within our objectives.

“We’ve done well in the Champions League and a little less well in the league, but the objective is still within our reach.

“Getting to the semi-finals gives us an awareness of what we can do. If we’d gone out in the groups we’d have said the opposite.

“Winning against Barcelona and drawing with Sassuolo… on paper that can’t happen, but unfortunately it did.

“We need to try and remain balanced, every game has its own story.”

Nainggolan is yet to score in this season’s Champions League…

“Hopefully I’ve saved it for these games! Obviously I’m lacking a goal in the Champions League but it’s not an obsession, I don’t live waiting for goals.

“When it comes, it comes. Hopefully it’s an important goal, that wouldn’t be bad. I just hope we play well, it doesn’t matter who scores.

“We can’t underestimate our opponents, they’re very strong. They knocked out a [Manchester] City team which swept to the title.

“It’ll be an open game, neither team is favourite and one has to go to the final. We hope that will be us.

“We’re hoping we don’t have to overturn another 4-1, because miracles don’t happen every day! Let’s try to get a good result in England and then play for it at home.

“We can dream of the final.”

Anfield is one of the most iconic stadiums in European football, could tonight’s atmosphere make a difference?

“For us the Olimpico has made the difference,” Nainggolan pointed out.

“They’ll have to come here too, so it applies to each team. The stadium factor should alway be in favour of the team playing at home.

“I’ve never played at Anfield, but we just have to play as well as we can regardless of the surroundings.”

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