Nainggolan left out of Belgium World Cup squad

Radja Nainggolan snubbed from Belgium's World Cup squad

Radja Nainggolan has announced his retirement from international football after being left out of the Belgium squad for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.



The 30-year-old midfielder is said to have had a bumpy relationship with Belgium manager Roberto Martinez, which has led to his omission from the World Cup squad despite playing a key role in Roma reaching the semi-finals of this year’s Uefa Champions League.

Nainggolan was twice this year dropped from the Belgium squad, but was involved in his country's last match against Saudi Arabia.

Martinez told a press conference: “Nainggolan is a top player. The reason is tactical.

In the past two years the team has worked in a specific manner. Other players had those roles.

We know Radja has a very important role in his club and we cannot give him that role in our squad.”

The midfielder immediately responded to his exclusion from the Belgium squad by announcing his retirement through his social media account.

Nainggolan said on his social media account: “Very reluctantly my international career comes to an end.

I've always done everything I could to represent my country.

The Belgium squad is headlined by Manchester City duo Kevin de Bruyne and Vincent Kompany as well as Eden Hazard of Chelsea and Romelu Lukaku of Manchester United.

There is also a place for Christian Benteke of Crystal Palace, who makes a return to the Belgium national team having been left out for the last international friendly against Saudi Arabia.

Belgium's initial 28-man squad for the World Cup:

Goalkeepers: Thibaut Courtois, Simon Mignolet, Matz Sels, Koen Casteels

Defenders: Toby Alderweireld, Dedryck Boyata, Leander Dendoncker, Laurent Ciman, Christian Kabasele, Vincent Kompany, Jordan Lukaku, Thomas Meunier, Thomas Vermaelen, Jan Vertonghen

Midfielders: Yannick Carrasco, Kevin De Bruyne, Nacer Chadli, Mousa Dembele, Marouane Fellaini, Eden Hazard, Thorgan Hazard, Adnan Januzaj, Dries Mertens, Youri Tielemans, Axel Witsel

Forwards: Michy Batshuayi, Christian Benteke, Romelu Lukaku.