Inter Milan loanee Radja Nainggolan has one of football's greatest signature moves

  • Kobe Tong

Radja Nainggolan is one of the most underrated midfielders of the last ten years.

Bursting onto the Serie A scene with current employers Cagliari in 2010, the Belgian general quickly established a reputation as a steely and robust presence in the heart of midfield.

And by the time he was snapped up by AS Roma, the club at which he played his best football, Nainggolan's all-round ability saw him deployed in positions ranging from right-back to second striker.

Nainggolan's incredible prime

And no matter where Nainggolan appeared on the teamsheet, whoever was marking him during the game could be certain that they were in for one of the most taxing 90 minutes of their life.

Nainggolan went on to amass 203 appearances in the Italian capital, scoring 33 goals and featuring in the Serie A Team of the Year for the 2014/15, 2015/16, 2016/17 and 2017/18 campaigns.

The 32-year-old also became a valuable asset to the Belgian national team earning 30 caps between 2009 and 2018, notching two fantastic goals at the 2016 European Championships.


Nainggolan's biggest strength

Now, 'Il Ninja' has a much lower profile on loan at Cagliari from Inter Milan, having initially moved back to his former club after his wife, Claudia Lai, was tragically diagnosed with cancer.

But although Nainggolan isn't the force in Serie A that he once was, that doesn't mean that his talents are any less revered and footage of his peak years are still bounded about by fans.

Besides, if nothing else, Nainggolan is one of the finest examples of world-class tackling that we've ever seen.


Nainggolan's signature move

In fact, the Belgian has the highest rating for slide-tackling on FIFA 21 along with Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Sergio Ramos, mastering the art of diving in to the point that he created his own technique.

Yes, you heard that right because the Inter loanee revolutionised the nature of slide-tackling to the point it became a signature move and frankly, it should officially be named 'The Nainggolan'.

Don't believe us? Well, we're inclined to think the footage will sway you if that's the case because seeing Nainggolan hook the ball from beneath opponents' feet feels like an art form.

Oh my word. It's like the scorpion kick of defending.

Nainggolan mastering tackling

Tackling from behind has always been a risky maneuver in football, but particularly in the modern era, so it's astonishing that Nainggolan has made it look like clockwork with his special technique.

Besides, it's almost as though Nainggolan eliminates the possibility of sinking his studs into the opponent by sweeping his leg around and scooping the ball from beneath them with his heel.


And if it can work on Lionel Messi, arguably the toughest player to dispossess in the beautiful game, then there can be no denying that Nainggolan's party trick is deserving of its own title.

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