Roma’s Radja Nainggolan spoke further today about his exclusion from the World Cup with Belgian channel Vier:
Your exclusion from the World Cup?
At times it’s still difficult, especially because I can also be seen in commercials. It hurts. But I look at it positively: that non-selection is a three-week vacation.
The meeting with Martinez?
When Martinez came to see me in Rome, you felt he was looking for a reason not to select me. He said I’m a fantastic player, but that in Belgium, he could not give me the role I have in Rome. According to him, at the time he had not decided anything yet, but for me, it was all clear.
He said that I was not selected for tactical reasons? I have played in Italy for several years, the most tactical league. And my Euro with the Red Devils was good. But after the friendly match against Spain, I was suddenly out. It’s true that I arrived late to a meeting, but I certainly was not the only one who did so in the team. That some people criticise me for smoking I can understand. They feel that I should be a role model for youngsters. But if that’s what I wanted to be, I would have become a primary school teacher or an educator. But I’m a footballer and I want to be judged based on my performances on the pitch.
What if a new national team manager arrives?
I will not be back. It’s over for me. My decision was the right one.