Wednesday October 17 2018
Nainggolan: ‘Roma disrespected me’

Radja Nainggolan claims Roma “did things behind my back”, and he joined Inter after they tried to sell him to foreign clubs “that I’d never accept”.

The midfielder was a fan favourite at the Stadio Olimpico, but this summer he moved north to reunite with Luciano Spalletti.

“The end wasn’t my fault, or at least not completely,” Nainggolan insisted in his interview with Gazzetta dello Sport.

“I was disappointed by some actions which, as a man, I cannot accept. I got things wrong, no question, like that video on New Year’s Eve…

“But they did things without telling me anything, rather than talking face-to-face like men.

“Roma wanted to cash in on my transfer, I found out that they’d agreed with foreign clubs that I’d never accept. I was treated like an unimportant player, they did things behind my back.

“At that point Spalletti called me and I didn’t think for long. At first I had regret, but I’ve been welcomed very well here.

“I’ve found a very well-organised club here, they know what they’re doing and everyone is always present.

“Steven Zhang is always here, whereas at Roma the President [James Pallotta] visits once a year…

“I think a person should be present at the helm of his company, and it’s also important for the fans. Every year they change three or four players, maybe if the

President was there he could better explain those changes.”

Nainggolan has frequently taken shots at Juventus in the past, but does he think anyone can stop them winning the Scudetto this season?

“They’re strong, they’ve been winning for seven years, but it’s a long season and there haven’t been many head-to-head matches so far.

“We’ll need to be good to stay on their tail and lose as few matches as possible, so we can be ready to take advantage of their slip-ups.

“Why the antipathy? I’ve suffered so many times that at a certain point you just can’t do it anymore.

“But they wanted me for five years in a row! I always said no, and maybe that’s why they still feel that toward me.

“Cristiano Ronaldo? He’s a chance to bring visibility to a league that had lost it, and an incentive for  us to try to beat him.

“Between him and Messi I choose Leo. Cristiano needs the team, whereas Messi sometimes dribbles past four or five players and wins a match on his own.”

The Belgian was also asked about the Champions League and his future plans.

“It’s an ‘easier’ tournament than Serie A,” Nainggolan insisted.

“There are six group games and everyone plays to win, whereas in Italy everyone puts 10 men behind the ball and you have to make a huge effort to break them down.

“My mohican? Enough, I’m 30 now and you won’t see it anymore. I kept it for a long time though, and I’m glad children copied my hairstyle.

“The best I’ve played with? Taking [Francesco] Totti out of it, I think of [Miralem] Pjanic. Juventus without him are not Juventus. And then there’s Maicon, you’d look at him and think: ‘how the Hell did you do that?’.

“Will Inter be my last team? It could be. Not least because I won’t play for long.”

Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports for just £9.99 per month including live LaLiga, Eredivisie, Scottish Cup Football and more. Visit: