Nainggolan would leave Roma dressing room to smoke with the assistant manager, reveals Castan

Radja Nainggolan RomaGetty Images

Former Roma centre-back Leandro Castan has revealed Radja Nainggolan used to leave the club dressing room to smoke with the assistant manager.

Nainggolan, now with Serie A side Cagliari on loan from Inter, played alongside Castan at Roma from 2013 to 2016 before the Brazilian went on a series of loans and ultimately signed permanently with Vasco da Gama in 2018. 

While immediately impressed by what Nainggolan could do on the pitch, Castan revealed the Belgium star would do what he wanted off it, regardless of what other people thought. 

"He arrived from Cagliari and I knew little about him at the time. But, right on his first match, he would tackle an opponent with class before kick starting an attacking move, then I knew what calibre of player he was," Castan told Goal.

"He's a fine player, but unfortunately he'd get into a lot of controversy. When he was at Roma, he'd leave the dressing room to have a smoke with the assistant manager, he did what he pleased and wouldn't care what people would think of it.

"But he would then go and deliver on the pitch, where it matters. It was great to play alongside him."

Nainggolan spent four and a half seasons at Roma before moving to Inter in 2018. 

Currently out of favour at the San Siro and on loan at Cagliari, the 32-year-old recently declared he is open to returning to Roma at some point. 

"I would go back to Roma. If the conditions are right, I would go back," Nainggolan told Er Faina on Instagram. "The door is always open. I lived beautiful years there, where they love me, where I always gave everything."

Castan, meanwhile, believes his current club will struggle to hold on to young star Talles Magno, who has even attracted some initial interest from Roma.

"He [Talles] has a strong mentality, and that's a virtue that must be praised," Castan said. 

"Some people at Roma have asked me about him, but then the director found him to be quite expensive! I'm sure he'll be leaving for Europe sooner or later."

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