It has been almost a year since Radja Nainggolan made the move from Roma to Inter, and while he hasn’t had the impact many Nerazzurri fans would have liked, he has settled well in the city and doesn’t see many differences with the capital.
The Belgian also commented on the progress Inter have made, and despite currently being 23 points behind Serie A leaders and champions Juventus, he hopes to close the gap to the Bianconeri.
“Life in Milan is completely different to that in Rome,” he told Het Nieuwsblad. “In Milan, I can walk the streets in peace.
“There [Rome] the fans go crazy when they see a Roma player in the city. People in Milan aren’t so easily impressed.
“The difference between Roma and Inter isn’t that big. Both are trying to close the gap to Juventus with beautiful, attacking football. The same applies to AC Milan.
“I haven’t experienced extra pressure. I already put a lot of pressure on myself, so I don’t feel any from the media or the public. I’m a winner who wants to win every match.
Looking at the season as a whole, Nainggolan is happy that Inter have all but achieved their goal of making it into the Champions League next season.
“This year we have performed well as a team,” he went on, “and it looks like we will achieve our most important goal, which is to get into next season’s Champions League.
“This season we went out early, but in retrospect we were in a group which had two semi-finalists [Barcelona and Tottenham].”
In terms of Nainggolan’s performance individually, he has managed to make just 20 Serie A starts, scoring five times, in a campaign littered with injury issues.
“Personally, I had hoped to give the team more, but due to a pre-season injury I was never able to perform consistently. That was very disappointing, because I still feel young and energetic.
“I got an injury and if that happens just before the season starts, it is generally known that it will be an annoying year. You often see that with players who have taken part in a summer tournament.
“It’s obvious that I am no longer 20 [years old]. But it isn’t my lifestyle which was the cause of my injuries during the season. I feel very young and I think everyone at the club would attest to that.
“I’m the first person to be having a joke and trying to keep the atmosphere like that. That can’t be wrong.”
In the most recent Derby d’Italia against Juventus, Nainggolan opened the scoring with a thunderous strike from 25 yards out, but does feel he was a little fortunate.
“Actually it was a mistake by the goalkeeper [Wojciech Szczesny], but without a bit of luck you don’t get anywhere,” he winked.