Nainggolan Presented to Fans

Radja Nainggolan was presented today to the media, here are his words:

(Transcript via Marco Buccino of Roma News)

Who first gave you the nickname ‘Ninja’ and why?
“The Cagliari fans called me ‘Ninja’ for the grit and determination I show on the field and my oriental origins.”

Did you expect this impact?
“Honestly, I felt myself comfortable straight away, it is not easy to get into a group that is doing good things, I tried to set me to how the team plays, then obviously I need to be better integrated, I am happy with yesterday’s win.”

What influenced your choice?
“Roma were interested in me last year, as were other teams, but I think this is the best place for me to be.”

“Roma had been looking for me since last year and after a disappointing year it was an important project, I had offers from other teams, but I think that this project is the best for me and I chose Roma.

“It’s very important to play for this team, they have invested a lot in me, I try to repay everything with my performances on the field.”

Is there a player you draw inspiration from?
“I want to aim as high as possible. I’m at Roma now and I hope to be a success at this great club.

“When I was a kid playing as trequartista, Ronaldinho. In midfield I like De Rossi and Gattuso’s grit.”

What is your favorite position?
“I have played as central midfielder on the left for the last four years, but the important thing is to play wherever I can help the team.”

What about Roma last year and this year?
“Surely you can answer better than me, last year they played more on the attack and they were not very solid on defense, this year is just the opposite, with the team more compact, the victories of the first 10 matchdays are stimuli that make you do well.”

Can Roma help you get to the World Cup?
“I have always said that it is important to look at the player on the field and not where he plays, now I came here, I know that I can be at the World Cup, I convinced myself that doing well here I will have my chance.”

Do you have the right mentality to bring Roma to win?
“I am a player who always gives his best, then there are places where you can win or where for three years we have been in difficulty. We can do well, I will try to give my contribution and I hope to win something.”

Bradley left, are you afraid to get less space than you deserve?
“These are the choices that the coach will make, I am convinced of my qualities and I will try to give the coach a selection headache, I think that even if we are a great team, I can make it.”

The Scudetto?
“We’re only 8 points behind Juve and we have to play them at home. Roma can’t fail so much, but there’s still the chance, we need to believe until the end.”

Regista or box-to-box midfielder?
“For me it is important to play, I said it before, I’m quite young and the important thing for me is to work and wherever I played I gave my contribution and I will try to give it here too.”

Did you talk with Totti?
“I had a training yesterday, Totti speaks for himself, he has shown in his career that he is a champion, I hope we play together soon, we talked just for a moment, I have to know him more from the personal point of view.”

Garcia? Did you choose Roma because of him?
“I have talked to him for two days, he seems like a great coach, he is doing great things this year, he has also shown in the past that he did well, I hope that I can improve even more where I came up with today, now we begin with the serious work.”

What did convince you to come to Roma?
“The project, I felt it already this summer, maybe there were not the prerequisites from Cagliari. Having a very young team in a couple of years you may come out, I take the example of my national team, they are all young and have qualified after twelve years. We have the chance to do well in the next years.”

What did strike you about the Roma team-mates?
“It’s a good group, there is a very solid and compact group in the locker room, joking with each other so much, I like it so much, I’m a joker, I have only been here for two days, but I think I love it here.”

They said they your the highest-paid backup in the world, does it bother you?
“I think I can have my chances, it is not easy to get into a group that is doing good things, I’ll try to find my space.”

More transfers after Bradley’s departure?
Italo Zanzi: “We are very pleased with the team, we work every day to build the team, we have confidence in everyone, Bradley was a good player for us, but the agreement was good for all. We have a fantastic team and a fantastic sporting director, we keep working with confidence.”

What about all the fans in Fiumicino? What do you say to the Cagliari fans?
“I didn’t see much of the fans, they pulled me to the right and to the left. It is a great feeling, there is an important place from this point of view.

“In Cagliari I lived four years, I made many friends, I married a Sardinian, they will stay inside of me, but I will bring everything to do well here and grow better.”

Source(s): AS Roma & Marco Buccino

The Editor of, John has been covering Italian football as a freelance journalist for over 10 years and has appeared in various publications including,, and ESPN.