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Radja Nainggolan announces international retirement after World Cup snub

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Roma midfielder Radja Nainggolan has announced his international retirement after being left out of Belgium’s World Cup squad for this year’s World Cup in Russia.

Nainggolan, who helped Roma reach the Champions League semi-finals, did not make manager Roberto Martinez’s initial 28-man squad for Russia 2018.

Belgium join England in Group G at the World Cup this summer, alongside Panama and Tunisia.

“Radja Nainggolan is a top player. The reason is tactical,” said Martinez.

“In the past two years the team has worked in a specific manner. Other players had those roles.

“We know Radja has a very important role in his club and we cannot give him that role in our squad.”

The 30-year-old responded by on social media website Instagram, posting: “Very reluctantly my international career comes to an end.

“I’ve always done everything I could to represent my country.”

Belgium squad:

Goalkeepers: Koen Casteels (Wolfsburg), Thibaut Courtois (Chelsea), Simon Mignolet (Liverpool), Matz Sels (Newcastle United).

Defenders: Toby Alderweireld (Tottenham Hotspur), Dedryck Boyata (Celtic), Laurent Ciman (Los Angeles FC), Christian Kabasele (Watford), Vincent Kompany (Manchester City), Jordan Lukaku (Lazio), Thomas Meunier (Paris St-Germain), Thomas Vermaelen (Barcelona), Jan Vertonghen (Tottenham Hotspur).

Midfielders: Yannick Carrasco (Dalian Yifang), Kevin de Bruyne (Manchester City), Mousa Dembele (Tottenham Hotspur), Leander Dendoncker (Anderlecht), Marouane Fellaini (Manchester United), Eden Hazard (Chelsea), Thorgan Hazard (Borussia Monchengladbach), Adnan Januzaj (Real Sociedad), Dries Mertens (Napoli), Youri Tielemans (Monaco), Axel Witsel (Tianjin Quanjian).

Forwards: Michy Batshuayi (Chelsea), Christian Benteke (Crystal Palace), Nacer Chadli (West Brom), Romelu Lukaku (Manchester United).

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