Radja Nainggolan has taken a swipe at the “two-faced” dressing rooms of Inter Milan and AS Roma.
The Belgian midfielder is on loan at fellow Serie A side Cagliari, the club where he first really made a name for himself in Italian football.
Nainggolan takes aim at Roma and Inter: Five things to know…
- Nainggolan has always been a controversial figure.
- After making 203 appearances for Roma, he joined Inter in 2018.
- But he immediately turned Inter fans against him by saying he was sad to be leaving Roma.
- Nainggolan is now on loan at former club Cagliari and has started five games so far.
- The Belgian says the Inter and Roma dressing rooms were “two-faced”, insisting that could never happen at a club like Cagliari.
Nainggolan has averaged 1.57 tackles and 1.31 chances created per 90 minutes in Serie A since rejoining Cagliari having had a season of struggle at the San Siro during 2018/19.
And in a revealing interview with La Gazzetta dello Sport’s Sportweek magazine, the 31-year-old has shone a light on a distasteful side to the inner workings of the dressing rooms at his former clubs.
“In big clubs, you see too many strange things, which would never happen at Cagliari, for example,” he said. “There are no secrets here, it’s too small a community, but elsewhere I saw so many two-faced people.
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“News leaks from the dressing room that should never get out. For example, once at Roma, I had a bit of an argument with Kostas Manolas, nothing major, but the next day it was in all the papers.
“The same thing happened at Inter. It’s still happening, as who do you think leaked the story about Romelu Lukaku and Marcelo Brozovic getting into a fight during a half-time break?”
“I couldn’t pretend to be in love with Inter”
Nainggolan also opened up on his rather strained relationship with the Inter fans, with the Nerazzurri faithful often booing the Belgium international thanks to comments he made shortly after joining from Roma.
“I was jeered by fans when I first arrived at Inter and it’s only right, because I said straight away that the disappointment of leaving Roma was stronger than the joy of being at Inter,” he said.
“I couldn’t pretend to be in love with a club when I’d only been there for one day. The fans didn’t take that well. I got to know a few of them, explained my feelings and they understood.
“It didn’t feel real to kiss the Inter jersey on my first day. Some weak people do it just to ingratiate themselves with the fans. It’s like meeting a girl and on the first date telling her she’s the love of your life.
“I’d been at Roma for four and a half years, so of course I felt differently about that club than Inter. I have never asked to be friends with the fans. I think a fan should support the team and not the individual players. If I became an icon for Cagliari and Roma fans, it’s because I gave my all for the team.”