Ahead of his side’s Champions League tie against Real Madrid on Wednesday evening, Roma midfielder Radja Nainggolan has conceded that his side will have to pull out something special in order to proceed to the next stage of the competition.
Having undergone an up and down season and already suffered humiliation at the hands of Real’s great rivals Barcelona, the odds are not in the Giallorossi’s favour, but the Belgian international insisted that the Lupi remain confident that they can pull off an unexpected victory.
“They’re a very attack-minded team so I’m sure they’ll give us some space,” Nainggolan told Marca, “We just have to take advantage of that space.
“We’re going to try and hurt them. We’re playing at home and we have to get a good result to take into the second leg. In other words, try to pull off a miracle. Real Madrid are a great team, but you have to stand up to them.”
Nainggolan also believes that Real’s Cristiano Ronaldo reamains a world class footballer despite suggestions that the forward may not be the same player he was in the past.
“All I can see is that he scores goals every week,” said the midfielder. “If they no longer want him, then we’ll happily have him at Roma.
“I’d love that and we’d happily welcome him. It is normal to question players of his calibre. They’re world class stars and it’s their own fault for being so good. He’s exceptional.”
Roma will face Los Blancos for the first time in the Champions League since 2008, where they came out as 2-1 victors in both legs at the round of 16 knockout stage.