‘It’s So Incomprehensible I’m Already Laughing’ – Radja Nainggolan Takes Being Frozen Out Of Second Successive Belgium World Cup Squad In Jolly Good Humour

Chris Wright

22nd, May 2018


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Radja Nainggolan certainly seems to be taking his omission from the Belgium World Cup squad incredibly well, with the midfielder revealing that he’s already able to laugh at his own misfortune.

The Roma star, who only played six minutes of the Red Devils’ qualifying campaign, wasn’t even included in Roberto Martinez’s provisional 28-man squad for the tournament when it was announced on Monday afternoon.

Having also been left out by Marc Wilmots in 2014, Nainggolan announced his immediate retirement from international football after learning that he’d once again been snubbed, this time by Martinez.

Speaking to Belgian publication HLN, the 30-year-old said:

I’ve had enough, my farewell with the Red Devils is fixed, I’m not going to keep fighting. I had already planned in advance to stop if I was not allowed to join the World Cup squad.

It is true that last year I also considered making myself unavailable for Belgium, but then I still hoped to be able to participate in Russia. To experience a World Cup was a boyhood dream, which has now been taken away from me.

I have secured my place in the Guinness Book of Records as the only top player who missed two consecutive World Cups. It’s so incomprehensible that I can already laugh at it.

Of course, Nainggolan is without doubt one of European football’s best combative midfielders, but Martinez – rightly or wrongly – has already explained that he feels the player just doesn’t fit into his preferred 3-4-3 system, thus putting him below Kevin De Bruyne, Marouane Fellaini, Thorgan Hazard, Mousa Dembele and Axel Witsel in the pecking order.

Which, once written down, looks even more ridiculous.

Anyway, go ahead and prepare yourselves for Belgium being touted as ‘potential dark horses’ by ignoramuses who have harboured the exact same uninformed opinion for a decade before they inevitably go tumbling out in the quarters to zero fanfare.

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  1. Liquid says:

    Maybe the manager thinks he is a bad egg

    • Pol says:

      Yup. Nainggolan s skill can’t be denied, so he must be a disruptive influence on the Belgian camp. He must have pissed someone off though, otherwise they should have been able to manage him.

      • Beano says:

        That’s just foolish logic. Imagine Argentina leaving Maradona off the roster in ’86 just cause he was a bit of a headcase? Where would that leave them?

        And yes Nainggolan would be that important to the Belgium squad. He’s easily the nation’s best player after Hazard and De Bruyne.

  2. JP says:

    Honestly now, who actually cares? Does anybody here see him play more than a few times per year? We know his shit hair and know he’s rated 80 odd in Fifa, but are we really going to pretend we’d notice his absence?

    Also, we’re talking about a nation managed by Boberto sodding Martinez.

    • Archer says:

      Whilst my first reaction was, ‘fair point, well made’, I have to say that it’s a travesty. As England fans, we’ll be paying close attention to Belgium’s results and probably watch some of their games.

      All football fans deserve to see the best players on the pitch; understandably people get peed off by two-bob coaches like Martinez trying to prove some sort of point that he can do without him.

  3. Bruno says:

    Martinez is a joke. Nainggolan would be the second or third name on that starting eleven.

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