There are very few players who dive into tackles bravely and come out willing to make another and Radja Nainggolan is one of those. These players are set apart and they’re the leaders who inspire their teammates to play better. The Belgian central midfielder is an intelligent player and a good reader of the game which helps him make many interceptions.
The 27-year old has been a solid wall just ahead of the Roma defence this season and has been in an exceptional form. While the Chelsea manager Antonio Conte is looking to grab the pacy defensive midfielder, we look at the 5 things you probably didn’t know about him:
At the age of 17, Radja Nainggolan made his debut for the Serie B club Piacenza Calcio and went on to play two games for the club that season. He spent many games on the bench waiting for his chance and also played many games for the club’s Reserve team.
Nainggolan was loaned out to Cagliari during the January transfer window in 2010 with an option to buy back. In June 2010, Cagliari acquired Nainggolan on a permanent basis on a four-year contract. In early October 2013, after three seasons as an undisputed first-choice, he renewed his contract until 2016.
The Defensive midfielder has had a habit of being tried out before getting offered a contract since it’s the second time in his career it had happened that he’d been loaned out so that the manager could see if he’d fit in. In January 2014, he was loaned out to AS Roma and was permanently acquired by the club in June for a fee of €6 million.
Nainggolan was having a great year in 2014 – he moved to a bigger club which played Champions League and was ready to become a first team player there but it wasn’t all smiles. He was on the stand-by list for Belgium’s squad for the World Cup, but couldn’t get in.
Nainggolan was born in Antwerp, the son of Lizy Bogaerts, a Belgian who raised him with his three half brothers and his twin sister, and Marianus Nainggolan. His father, an Indonesian of Batak background member left them with nothing when he was just a child.
Nainggolan’s mother died in 2010, and after her death he tattooed two large wings on his back with her dates of birth and death.