Radja Nainggolan has reiterated how happy he is to be a Roma player after Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone revealed he would like to have him in his team.
Nainggolan was linked with a move to Chelsea in the summer and Atletico boss Simeone confirmed that he would be interested in the 29-year-old, telling Mediaset that he “would be an extraordinary player for us.”
Nainggolan made up his mind in June that he was sticking with Roma, having made the same decision the year before, and he told Mediaset that is his final decision — all the more so after he was given the captain’s armband to wear in Wednesday’s 2-0 Champions League loss to Atletico in the absence of Daniele De Rossi and Alessandro Florenzi.
“I’ve said it before but I made a decision to stay here last year and this year and I’m delighted to represent this club,” Nainggolan said “I’ve got everything I need to be happy here.
“It’s an honour [to be captain] because before me there were [Francesco] Totti, De Rossi and Florenzi — all huge players. I always try to give something to the team, with or without the captain’s armband. I don’t want to change clubs; I’ve no reason to.”
Nainggolan played through the pain barrier in Roma’s 2-1 derby win over Lazio last weekend while he again made it through the 90 minutes against Atletico.
“I’m feeling it a bit now, but for as long as I feel up for it, I will be available to play, also because I always want to lend a hand to my teammates,” he said. “Now I’m going to get a rest because it’s going to be another battle in Genoa next Sunday.”
Ben Gladwell reports on Serie A, the Italian national team and the Bundesliga for ESPN FC, UEFA and the Press Association. @UEFAcomBenG.