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Radja Nainggolan has told ESPN FC he has no regrets about turning down a move to the Premier League as he continues to enjoy life in Italy after leaving Roma in the summer, ESPN reports.
“I have had plenty of chances to leave,” he told ESPN FC. “I am the kind of person who above all needs to live well and be at a club which plays to win, or where I am happy with my life.
“In Italy, you live really well — I like the culture and way of life here. Chelsea offered me more money [while at Roma in 2017] and they are a big club, yes.
“But I’m interested in waking up in the morning in a place where I feel good and, at the age of 29, winning back all the respect I’d worked 12 years to earn in Italy was not for me.
“There are lots of components — lots to evaluate. I stayed in Italy, with Roma, because I wanted to end in the best way possible. There was Manchester too. There were many things that I was not interested in at all. Of course you are flattered by the interest, but this is how it is.
“I’ve come to a club who are looking to build something big, so I think I’m in the right place.”
“I think if you want a spectacle, you need to watch English football,” he said. “In terms of the fans, the stadiums being full, the pitches being perfect — and it seems like the action is in fast-forward. The rhythm is so high, but it’s not as tactical as it is in Italy. If you were to ask me which league I’d like to play in, maybe I’d say England for the spectacle, but I’ve been here for so long now that I’m perfectly happy here and I don’t need to change anything.”
Nainggolan has said he won’t play for Belgium again and has hit out at the “pathetic” excuses behind his international exile.
“I’m not going back to the national team again. I said that if I don’t go to the World Cup, I’ll quit, and I’m a man of my word,” Nainggolan said. “I play my football here [at Inter], with lots of love for what I do, but I have a different life outside of here.
“If they change the coach tomorrow and he says: ‘come on, come on’ — it’s still no. Because when I make up my mind, I stick to it. It’s not like I say I’m not interested while this coach is in charge — for me, when I say it’s over, it’s over because I’ve thought it through well. “Each time there’s an international break now, I get four or five days off and I’m happy as I can concentrate on Inter and other things. It was a great experience, I had a great European Championship and that’s enough. They were great experiences on a personal level. I’m a fan of my national teammates — I like them all and have a great relationship with all of the players, it’s just there are some things I cannot accept, some decisions made about me.”
“I was really, really disappointed with the fact that I’d played a great European Championship and then I was discarded for nothing,” Nainggolan said.