|Radja Nainggolan Quick Info|
|Height||5 ft 9½ in|
|Date of Birth||May 4, 1988|
Since making his mark with Cagliari, Radja Nainggolan has gone on to establish himself as one of the best midfielders in the Italian league. His aggressive and never say die attitude makes him an ideal component of his side’s defensive play. His immense stamina and driving-runs from the deep add another dimension to his side’s attacking play. His long shots have helped him score key goals. The fact that he wears his heart on his sleeve and says what he feels instead of issuing PR statements had helped him endear to the fans of whichever club he represents.
Radja, Il Ninja
Radja Nainggolan started honing his skills in the youth academy of the Belgian club, Germinal Beerschot.
Professional Soccer Player
- Father – Marianus Nainggolan
- Mother – Lizy Bogaerts
- Siblings – Riana Nainggolan (Twin Sister), Manuel Noboa (Half-Brother). He has two other half-brothers as well.
Radja Nainggolan is represented by Alessandro Beltrami.
21, 23 – Piacenza FC
4 – Cagliari Calcio, AS Roma
28 – Cagliari Calcio
44 – AS Roma
14 – Inter Milan
5 ft 9½ in or 176 cm
71 kg or 156.5 lbs
Girlfriend / Spouse
Radja Nainggolan has dated –
- Claudia Nainggolan (2011-Present) – In 2011, Radja got married to his girlfriend Claudia. They had been dating for quite a long time. Over the course of their marriage, she had given birth to their daughter as well. In June 2018, he admitted that he had been unfaithful to his wife a couple of times. He claimed that it is difficult to turn advances down when you are regularly approached by beautiful women.
Race / Ethnicity
On his father’s side, he has Indonesian Batak ancestry, while on his mother’s side, he is of Flemish descent.
Dark Brown (Natural)
He is quite fond of highlighting and dyeing his hair with ‘blonde’ and ‘pink’ being his preferred colors.
- He has a big rose tattoo on his throat.
- Eye-catching mohawk hairstyle
Radja Nainggolan has inked an endorsement deal with Nike. Because of his contractual allegations, he is required to wear Nike shoes for his professional matches.
He was raised in a devout Roman Catholic household.
Best Known For
- Being one of the most complete central midfielders in the European league. He is adept at assisting his side in attacking as well as defensive play. His versatility allows him to fulfill several midfield responsibilities with distinction.
- Having played for the great Italian leagues – AS Roma and Inter Milan. He made over 200 appearances for the former before moving to the latter.
First Soccer Match
In May 2006, he made his professional debut with Piacenza in an Italian Serie B match against Arezzo. However, he ended up on the losing side on his debut.
In January 2014, he made his first start for AS Roma in the Coppa Italia match against Sampdoria. He led his team to a 1-0 win and into the quarter-final of the cup.
In September 2018, Nainggolan made his first appearance for Inter Milan in an away league match against Bologna. He scored in his side’s 3-0 win.
In May 2009, he made his international debut for Belgium in the Kirin Cup match against Chile.
First TV Show
In 2018, Radja Nainggolan made his first TV show appearance in Gers, Jenne & Rob: Dag 3 episode of the comedy talk show, Gert Late Night.
Radja Nainggolan Facts
- Radja Nainggolan is a rare player in the modern sanitized soccer in which players are very cautious about airing their views. Radja has earned a reputation for making stinging and unrefined statements.
- He has often publicly acknowledged that he loves to party and enjoys the nightlife. He has made it clear that he has no intention of adopting the professional lifestyle of spending all his time in training and at home.
- He and his siblings were raised by his mother on her own after his father abandoned the family. She had to work 3 different jobs to make ends meet in tough and poor Antwerp neighborhood.
- At the age of 5, he started his soccer career with Tubantia Borgerhout. He played with the team for 7 years.
- When he was 17 years old, he caught the attention of the Italian agent Alessandro Beltrami, who decided to move him to the Italian side, Piacenza.
- In January 2010, he moved to Cagliari on a loan. The club management was so impressed by his performances that they decided to buy 50% of his rights in a co-ownership deal after he had made just 7 appearances.
- In October 2013, he signed a contract extension with Cagliari to extend his stay with the club until 2016. However, he was gone by the start of the following year.
- In January 2014, he left the Sardinian club as he joined Roma on a 6 months loan deal. Roma had to pay €3 million for the loan and they decided to pay €9 million in the summer to sign him on the permanent basis.
- He was so popular amongst Cagliari fans that they gave him standing ovation when he first returned with Roma to play at their stadium.
- In February 2014, he scored his first goal for AS Roma as he helped his team win the match by 1-0 against Bologna.
- In August 2017, he announced that he was retiring from international soccer. He had made the announcement because he wasn’t selected for Belgium’s upcoming World Cup qualifiers.
- In November 2017, he decided to reverse his decision after he was called up by Roberto Martinez for the friendlies. But he had to pull out because of an injury.
- When he was dropped by Roberto Martinez from the 2018 World Cup Belgium national squad, he didn’t hold back in his criticism of the Spaniard and even dragged his teammates such as Axel Witsel in the conversation by alleging favoritism.
- He was caught up in a controversy on the New Year’s Eve 2018 after he posted a video on Instagram of him drinking, smoking, and cursing. He initially dismissed all the criticism before he eventually decided to post an apology.
- Follow him on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Featured Image by Delval Loïc / Wikimedia / CC BY-SA 3.0