Radja Nainggolan: Ex Roma Star Claims He Can Perform Even if He Drinks 20 Shots Before a Match

Radja Nainggolan: Ex Roma Star Claims He Can Perform Even if He Drinks 20 Shots Before a Match

Elijah Odetokun
updated at April 12, 2023 at 8:28 PM
In this article:
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  • Radja Nainggolan is more famous for his off-field antics than he is for his footballing abilities
  • The former AS Roma player is a technical and versatile midfielder with good shooting ability
  • He recently revealed none of his shenanigans off the pitch affected his displays on the pitch

Most football fans would remember tattoos and crazy hairstyles if asked about Radja Nainggolan before remembering whether he ever played football, where he played, and how good he was.

Not many remember he was part of the AS Roma squad that overturned a first-leg 4-1 deficit and beat Barcelona 3-0 at the Stadio Olimpico to progress on away goals in the UEFA Champions League in 2018.

He currently plays in the second division of Italian football with SPAL after quitting Antwerp in his home country of Belgium, due to notoriety which overshadowed the majority of his career.

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Radja Nainggolan during his playing days for AS Roma. Photo by Matteo Bottanelli.
Source: Getty Images

Nainggolan can drink 20 pints

As reported by Daily Star, former Roma director, Walter Sabatini said the Belgian's form dips only when he is not on booze, a claim the player confirmed in an interview with Corriere della Sera.

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“Sabatini? I called him and told him that eight shots weren’t enough… I can also drink 20. And then I go out on the pitch anyway,” he said.
“[Sabatini] loves me; he’s always advised me to have a quieter life. He thinks I would have a better career. But I don’t agree - on the pitch, I gave it my all.”

Nainggolan reveals childhood struggles

The former Belgian international, who retired after he was overlooked for the Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup, revealed a difficult childhood and the sacrifices he made to be a footballer.

“As a boy I suffered, my family was poor, I made great sacrifices to become a footballer. And now, I don’t give up living, also because nature has given me a body that isn’t affected by the shenanigans I’ve done. Everywhere I did shenanigans,” he laughed.

Bailey inhales laughing gas

Professional athletes are advised to stay off alcohol and harmful substances so performances on the pitch are not impeded, but some do the opposite.

As Sports Brief reported, Aston Villa winger, Leon Bailey was caught inhaling laughing gas after partying all night after a game in Birmingham.

The substance reportedly causes headaches, dizziness and weakness when inhaled and is not advised for those in professional sports.

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Elijah Odetokun
Elijah Odetokun is Reuters-trained journalist with three years of experience having previously worked at Daily Times Nigeria, OmaSports and El Futbolero.