Radja Nainggolan excited to face Indonesia U-23

The Belgian midfielder with Indonesian blood will be part of the Jakarta All Stars as they take on the young Garuda at Gelora Bung Karno Stadium

Belgian international Radja Nainggolan is excited to come up against the Indonesia Under-23s in an exhibition match that will take place at Gelora Bung Karno Stadium, Jakarta on Wednesday.

The 25-year-old currently plays in the Italian top flight for Serie A’s Cagliari Calcio, and made his debut for the Belgian national team in 2009.

Radja, which means "king" in Bahasa Indonesia, is the name given to Nainggolan due to his Indonesian ancestry. He will be playing for the Jakarta All Stars (JAS) that will also feature former national team players such as Hendro Kartiko, Nuralim, Rochi Putiray, Budi Sudarsono, and Kurniawan Dwi Julianto.

“I am very excited to play the U-23 at the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium," Nainggolan enthused.

"I will come up against many skillful players, and it would be amazing to play together on the same pitch.

“But that also makes me just a little nervous. I will play my best and keep this fond memory.”

Nainggolan, who was born to an Indonesian father in Antwerp, also conducted a coaching clinic for children at the stadium on Tuesday, where he was assisted by Rochi Putiray.

Meanwhile, Andikha Suksmana, director of The Footballicious, who arranged for Nainggolan's visit, revealed that the Belgian midfielder was invited because of his Indonesian lineage.

“We invited Radja because of his Indonesian roots," she said.

"Besides that, he will also be able to garner public interest, which would attract audiences to watch the game."