Radja Nainggolan

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Radja Nainggolan
Radja Nainggolan.JPG
Nainggolan playing for Belgium in 2009
Personal information
Date of birth (1988-05-04) 4 May 1988 (age 26)
Place of birth Antwerp, Belgium
Height 1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)
Playing position Midfielder
Club information
Current team
Number 4
Youth career
2000–2005 Germinal Beerschot
2005–2007 Piacenza
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2006–2010 Piacenza 71 (4)
2010 Cagliari (loan) 7 (0)
2010–2014 Cagliari 124 (7)
2014 Roma (loan) 17 (2)
2014– Roma 22 (3)
National team
2004 Belgium U16 1 (0)
2007 Belgium U19 2 (0)
2008–2009 Belgium U20 2 (0)
2007–2010 Belgium U21 13 (1)
2009– Belgium 8 (2)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 15:50, 15 February 2015 (UTC).

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 00:00, 14 October 2014 (UTC)

Radja Nainggolan (born 4 May 1988) is a Belgian footballer who plays for Italian club A.S. Roma and the Belgian national team as a midfielder.

He spent most of his professional career in Italy, representing Piacenza, Cagliari and Roma.

Early life[edit]

Nainggolan was born in Antwerp, the son of Lizy Bogaerts, a Belgian of Flemish ethnicity who raised him with his three half brothers and his twin sister,[1][2] and Marianus Nainggolan, an Indonesian of Batak background member of the Batak Christian Protestant Church[3] who left them with nothing when he was just a child.[4]

Nainggolan's mother died in 2010,[5] and after her death he tattooed two large wings on his back with her dates of birth and death.[4][6] He was raised Roman Catholic and speaks Dutch, English and Italian fluently, as well as understanding French.[7][8]

Club career[edit]


Nainggolan arrived at Piacenza Calcio in late 2005 at the age of 17, from local K.F.C. Germinal Beerschot. Still a junior he managed to appear in two Serie B games for the club, over the course of two separate seasons.

Nainggolan played 38 matches in the 2008–09 campaign for the Emilia-Romagna side, scoring three goals for an eventual 10th-place finish. On 27 January 2010 he was loaned to Cagliari Calcio in Serie A, with the Sardinians having an option to buy the player permanently at the end of the season.[9] He made his league debut on 7 February, playing seven minutes in a 0–3 away loss against Inter Milan.[10]


On 21 June 2010, Cagliari acquired Nainggolan on a permanent basis. In early October 2013, after three seasons as an undisputed first-choice,[11] he renewed his contract until 2016.[12]

However, on 7 January of the following year, Nainggolan was loaned to fellow league team A.S. Roma until the end of the campaign for a fee of 3 million, with an option to make the deal permanent in the ensuing summer for €6 million.[13][14]


Nainggolan made his debut for his new club on 9 January 2014, starting in a 1–0 home win over U.C. Sampdoria for the season's Coppa Italia which qualified to the quarter-finals.[15] In the same competition, he also helped dispose of Juventus F.C. in said stage by playing the full 90 minutes 12 days later.[16]

On 22 February 2014 Nainggolan scored his first goal for the capital side, grabbing the 1–0 winner against Bologna FC 1909.[17] His second, which arrived on 19 April against ACF Fiorentina (same result) ensured his team automatic qualification to the UEFA Champions League.[18]

Nainggolan signed a permanent deal with Roma in the 2014 summer.

International career[edit]

Nainggolan earned his first cap for Belgium on 29 May 2009, against Chile in the Kirin Cup.[19] On 5 March 2014 he scored his first goal for the Red Devils, in a 2–2 friendly draw with Côte d'Ivoire.[18]

On 13 May 2014, Nainggolan was selected in a standby list for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.[20][21]

International goals[edit]

Scores and results list Belgium's goal tally first.
Goal Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 5 March 2014 King Baudouin, Brussels, Belgium  Ivory Coast
2. 13 October 2014 Bilino Polje, Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina  Bosnia-Herzegovina
Euro 2016 qualifying




  1. ^ "Tottenham incar Radja Nainggolan" [Tottenham wants Radja Nainggolan] (in Indonesian). Tempo. 12 June 2013. Retrieved 8 January 2014. 
  2. ^ "Radja Nainggolan diincar klub besar Eropa" (in Indonesian). Ganlob. 16 June 2013. Retrieved 8 January 2014. 
  3. ^ "Radja Nainggolan bangga bermarga Batak" (in Indonesian). Mahasiswa Batak. June 2013. Retrieved 8 January 2014. 
  4. ^ a b "La GdS racconta Nainggolan: cresciuto senza padre, salvato dalla madre" [GdS tells of Nainggolan: grown up without a father, rescued by mother] (in Italian). Il Vero Milanista. 29 December 2013. Retrieved 8 January 2014. 
  5. ^ "Grave lutto per Nainggolan" [Serious mourning for Nainggolan] (in Italian). Tutto Cagliari. 19 October 2010. Retrieved 8 January 2014. 
  6. ^ "5 cose da sapere su Radja Nainggolan" [5 things you should know about Radja Nainggolan] (in Italian). Squer. 7 January 2014. Retrieved 8 January 2014. 
  7. ^ "Radja Nainggolan, serramannese d’adozione" [Radja Nainggolan, serramannese by adoption] (in Italian). A Serramanna. 11 May 2011. Retrieved 8 January 2014. 
  8. ^ "Sorpresa Nainggolan: 'A Firenze meglio che a Lecce'" [Surprise Nainggolan: 'Better in Florence than Lecce'] (in Italian). Calcio Mercato. 3 December 2010. Retrieved 8 January 2014. 
  9. ^ Nainggolan: "Vengo per migliorare" – "La Serie A è un sogno" (Nainggolan: "I come to improve" – "Serie A is a dream"); Cagliari Calcio, 27 January 2010 (Italian)
  10. ^ Internazionale 3–0 Cagliari; ESPN Soccernet, 7 February 2010
  11. ^ "È Nainggolan il re dei contrasti" [Nainggolan is the king of tackles] (in Italian). Cagliari News 24. 29 May 2013. Retrieved 7 January 2014. 
  12. ^ "Cagliari, Nainggolan: rinnovo e scaramanzia per allontanare le big" [Cagliari, Nainggolan: renewal and good luck to stave off the big] (in Italian). Tutto Mercato Web. 5 October 2013. Retrieved 7 January 2014. 
  13. ^ "Radja Nainggolan" (PDF) (in Italian). A.S. Roma. 7 January 2014. Retrieved 7 January 2014. 
  14. ^ Nainggolan coming to Roma; UEFA.com, 7 January 2014
  15. ^ "Coppa Italia, Roma-Sampdoria 1–0, decide Torosidis: c'è la Juventus nei quarti" [Italian Cup, Roma-Sampdoria 1–0, Torosidis decides it: it's Juventus in last-eight] (in Italian). La Gazzetta dello Sport. 9 January 2014. Retrieved 13 February 2014. 
  16. ^ "Roma-Juventus 1–0: Vendetta servita, Gervinho manda la Lupa in semifinale" [Roma-Juventus 1–0: Revenge served, Gervinho sennds Lupa to semifinals] (in Italian). Goal.com. 21 January 2014. Retrieved 13 February 2014. 
  17. ^ "Nainggolan's first Roma goal sinks Bologna". Reuters. 22 February 2014. Retrieved 22 April 2014. 
  18. ^ a b "World Cup watch: Lionel Messi, Radamel Falcao & Carlos Tevez". BBC Sport. 21 April 2014. Retrieved 22 April 2014. 
  19. ^ Kirin Cup: De Laet , Kitoko et Nainggolan aussi (Kirin Cup: De Laet, also Kitoko and Nainggolan); DH, 27 May 2009 (French)
  20. ^ "World Cup squad announcement – Belgium". Twitter. 13 May 2014. Retrieved 13 May 2014. 
  21. ^ "Januzaj makes Belgium provisional World Cup squad". Goal.com. 13 May 2014. Retrieved 4 June 2014. 
  22. ^ "Radja Nainggolan". National Football Teams. Retrieved 27 October 2014. 

External links[edit]