Roma midfielder Radja Nainggolan spoke to Nieuwsbald and confirmed that he is quitting the Belgian national team after his exclusion by Roberto Martinez. Here are his words:
Did you see this coming?
He (Martinez) called me at 11 o’clock (one hour before the announcement of the selection). He said he had the impression that in the last World Cup matches in June that I was not focused enough on playing with the Red Devils. I was about to explode when I heard that.
Was that lack of concentration, among other things, because you came late for a tactical meeting for the match against Estonia?
He did not say that. But we’re talking about one minute (for being late), no more. I was waiting for 37 seconds on the elevator for one minute and so I arrived late. But other players also were late, I was not alone. It’s always something.
Are you thinking of stopping with the Red Devils?
Yes, I am going to stop. This makes no sense anymore. He calls Youri Tielemans, who is sitting on the bench and playing only for a few minutes at Monaco every week. When he was appointed, he saId that Red Devils must play in top competitions. Now he has Witsel, who plays in China and suddenly it does not matter anymore. That’s all fine, but I have to step up my game? Please.
You saw the manager on holiday in Ibiza. Was that not a moment to talk about the difficult relationship?
We were in the same restaurant, he sat at a table near mine. I did not see him first but he saw me. He did not say “Hello” or “Goodbye”. Yes, I did not say anything, either, but how can you work together like this?
Is that a reason to stop your international career?
But it does not make sense to continue. I played 52 matches for AS Roma, a top class club in the Serie A last season. I always do my best, I get on well with the group. Still, there is always something. I will not go on. I quit. I’m 29 years old and they will not let me go any further from here anymore. Sorry but that is how it is.
So we will only see you at AS Roma?
Yes, that’s the way it is. I’m being pushed into this this situation. Everything will be about Roma from now on.