Roma's Radja Nainggolan 'went too far' with New Year's celebrations
Roma midfielder Radja Nainggolan has apologised for posting a video of himself appearing to be drunk and smoking during a party to celebrate the New Year on Instagram, saying it was a mistake and retracting an initial justification of his actions.
Nainggolan posted the video as a story in the early hours of Jan. 1. He said that he felt "stone drunk" as he staggered around playing a game of Padle tennis with friends, holding his phone and a drink in one hand and the racquet in his other.
He then lit a cigarette and continued to stagger around.
The story was covered widely on Italian sports websites, including La Gazzetta dello Sport later on Monday morning, and Nainggolan tweeted his disapproval, saying: "Even on New Year's, all you think about is making the news... Happy New Year to everybody except for them... go get a life..."
After training on Monday afternoon, Nainggolan issued an apology in another Instagram story.
"I'm sorry about what happened tonight," he wrote. "As you know, I like having fun with my friends and I love celebrating New Year... but last night I went too far. I saw it as a special night where you can exaggerate a little...
"I certainly didn't intend to give a negative example. This is why I feel I need to apologise for my words and my behaviour. Forza Roma forever...!!!"
Nainggolan was voted second behind Edin Dzeko in a Player of the Year poll on Roma's official website, with Stephan El Shaarawy third.
The Belgium international remains a firm fans' favourite, particularly after proving his commitment to the Serie A club despite offers to leave last summer, with Chelsea reported to have made an approach.
Ben Gladwell reports on Serie A, the Italian national team and the Bundesliga for ESPN FC, UEFA and the Press Association. @UEFAcomBenG.