Radja Nainggolan Claims He Will 'Stop International Football' After Missing Out on Belgium Squad
Radja Nainggolan has confirmed that he will "stop international" football having again been snubbed by Belgian boss Roberto Martinez for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Gibraltar and Greece.
The midfielder has consistently excelled for Roma in Serie A, and emerged as one of Europe's most revered players.
But a breakdown in relations between Nainggolan and Martinez appears to have ended his chances of playing international football.
“He called me at 11.00 (one hour before the squad announcement) and said he had the impression I was not focused enough on playing for the Red Devils during the World Cup matches in June. I was about to explode when I heard that,” Nainggolan told Nieuwsblad.
Martinez reportedly lost faith in Nainggolan after he was late to a tactics briefing ahead of the Estonia game.
“He didn’t mention it, but we only talked for a minute, no more than that," the 29-year-old added. "As for Estonia, I was waiting for the lift for 37 seconds and was late. Other players were late too, I was not alone. It’s always something.
“I am going to stop international football now. It makes no sense. He calls Youri Tielemans who is sitting on the bench and playing only a few minutes at Monaco.
“When he was appointed, Martinez said that the Red Devils must play in top competitions. Now that Axel Witsel is in China, suddenly that doesn’t apply anymore. That’s all fine, but I have to step up my game? Come on.
“Actually, I was in the same restaurant as Martinez in Ibiza. He did not say hello or goodbye, neither did I. How can you work together like that?
“It makes no sense to continue with international football. I played 52 games for Roma, who were second in Serie A last season. I always do my best, work with the team, still there is always something, some reason to leave me out.
“I won’t do this anymore. I quit. I am 29 years old and they won’t let me go any further than this. I’m sorry, but that’s just how it is.
“I’m being pushed into this situation, so fine, now everything I do is for Roma.”