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Nainggolan hits out at ´strange´ Belgium omission

Radja Nainggolan feels Roberto Martinez’s decision to omit him from the Belgium squad due to a lack of fitness is “strange”.

Nainggolan pulled out of the national team ahead of the previous 2018 World Cup qualifiers against Bosnia and Herzegovina and Gibraltar in October due to injury.

Upon announcing his group for the next batch of international fixtures on Friday, Martinez claimed the 28-year-old midfielder was not physically ready.

Nainggolan does not agree with the coach’s comments, pointing to the fact he has started Roma’s last six matches and has scored twice.

“I had a pretty good European Championship, I scored two important goals,” he told Belgian publication Het Nieuwsblad.

“Against Bosnia and Gibraltar in October I was not fit, now I am. However, the coach called me stating I was not fit enough.

“I thought that was strange and I told him that. I have played the last four games for Roma and scored another goal on Thursday.

“This is a disappointment. I like to play for the national team and fit in the group well.

“With [Steven] Defour and [Mousa] Dembele injured or just back from injury, I had hoped to play against Netherlands.”

Sat 5 Nov, 2016
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