Inter midfielder Radja Nainggolan insists ‘I drink and smoke with serenity and I’m not a bad boy’, while his mother is ‘the most important person in my life’.
Nainggolan’s off-field antics have come under fire and were considered to be behind his exclusion from the Belgium squad, but the former Roma and Cagliari man made it clear he still led a ‘normal’ life.
“I drink and smoke with serenity,” he told France Football.
“A footballer can smoke, even if they don’t have a normal job. I can assure you that I am a normal lad and not a bad boy like many insist on pointing out.
“I can walk through the worst neighbourhoods and live in a normal way. I accept the privileges given to me as a footballer, but that doesn’t mean I look for them.
"I earned 1,000 euros a month when I was younger, but that was a lot for my family.
“I try to let my people have a good life. I’m inspired by my mother. She’s the most important person in my life.
“She had nothing but gave me everything, making many sacrifices.”