Nainggolan: ‘Roma for life’

Radja Nainggolan could happily “sign a lifetime contract with Roma, as I’ve already said no to many other clubs,” and hails Francesco Totti.

The Belgian midfielder is constantly at the centre of transfer speculation from Inter, Chelsea, Manchester United, Manchester City and clubs in China.

“I am very happy at Roma and see no reason why I should leave,” he told Sky Sport Italia. “I have everything I need, as in these situations not even a ton of money can change your mind.

“I could sign a lifetime contract with Roma, as I’ve already said no to many other clubs. Unless, of course, one day they decide to kick me out. Right now I am happy here and the important thing for me is to be happy.”

Nainggolan’s love of the Giallorossi was also inspired by former teammate, now director, Totti.

“He was a player on the world stage and everywhere he played, people would shout his name. I think he earned respect on the pitch for being the champion he was. When he retired, everyone at the stadium was moved to tears. It had to happen sooner or later, but it was a horrible moment for him. We still miss him in the locker room and he represents Roma.

“Totti remains a very important person for me. It was awkward for him at the start, but with this new role within the club, he can enter the locker room and tries to be close to the team. It’s always good to have his smiling face and a former player who can give us a hand behind the scenes.”

Nainggolan spent most of his career in Italy, but his international games for Belgium were limited in part due to his reputation as a troublemaker.

“I grew up without a father, so I try to give time to my kids. My mother taught me so much and then I left home aged 17 to start my career in Italy, so that wasn’t easy either. I had to mature early, so try to bring some of that experience to my own children.

“I am very happy with the way I lived my life, even if some say I don’t set a good example. I am a football player, not an educator. I have my children and try to raise them well, but in my private life I do and say what I consider to be right. I’m always ready on match day.”

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