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Nainggolan Left Off Belgium’s World Cup Squad

What the?

Belgium v Saudi Arabia - International Friendly Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images

Since we started the day discussing Radja Nainggolan, we might as well end it that way too. While Federico Fazio. Alisson and Aleksandar Kolarov should or will all experience the pride and joy that comes with representing your nation at the World Cup (I did it once, it was awesome), the same cannot be said for our beloved Nainggolan, who was conspicuously missing from Roberto Martinez’s preliminary roster for next month’s FIFA World Cup.

Uh, what?

At this point, I’m not even sure that snub is strong enough a term. Nainggolan may not be as talented or as famous as some of his countryman (think Hazard, De Bruyne), but surely he’s a better bet and more prepared than someone like Axel Witsel whose been toiling away in China, or Marouane Fellaini who is, well, Marouane Fellaini, right?

Well, apparently not. For some unknown reason, Martinez didn’t deem Nainggolan fit for service. One would think that in a tournament as compressed as the World Cup, where overarching strategies and tactics can sometimes fall flat, you’d want a player as versatile as Nainggolan in midfield, but, again, apparently not.

See! Even the third host of the Daily Show realizes that Nainggolan was robbed! What kind of world is this?

Nainggolan was quick to respond to this disappointment

Rather than lashing out, like so many of us would, Nainggolan took the high road, a gesture that didn’t go unnoticed in his homeland, as there is currently an online petition circulating trying to get Martinez to somehow rectify this error.

Even if you remove your Roma glasses, Martinez’s rationale (whatever it might be) for excluding Nainggolan defies expectations, but for whatever reason he’s simply never been a fan of Nainggolan.

Kudos for Radja for being an adult about this, lord knows he has every reason to lash out. What more would he have to do to prove himself?

Hey, here’s an idea, maybe Italy can naturalize him before the World Cup star....oh, wait.