Radja Nainggolan sat down with Roma Radio on Wednesday morning to discuss his emotions after his goalscoring performance in Sunday's victory over Juventus.
After digging deep to even participate in the contest, it's safe to say the midfielder enjoyed the occasion...
How are you feeling physically?
"I wasn’t on top form against Juventus, but I was really fired up by that contest: I wanted to be part of it whatever the cost and let’s say it went pretty well."
How did you go into that game? Seeing Napoli win led many to believe Roma would end up third and the season would be a failure.
"Napoli’s victory meant we could only afford one outcome. Our preparation for the game was good. We were coming off the back of a good win in Milan and I think we put in more or less the same performance against Juve, sitting deep and countering effectively on a number of occasions. We had to believe we could win, and ultimately that’s what happened. I think we deserved the victory."
What does a win like this mean to you? Is there a sense that after 36 fixtures you’re only four points behind a side like Juventus?
"Looking at the league table now, yes, but they’ve lost games recently because they’ve been in a really comfortable position. Their minds are currently elsewhere, seeing as on paper they have Crotone at home. They’ve got the Coppa Italia final and then the Champions League final coming up, so maybe at the moment they’re more concentrated on other objectives.
"At the end of the day though, Roma v Juve is a big game and nobody wanted to look bad, neither us nor them. We showed that we deserved this win; we don’t care about anything else."
Are you pleased with the goal?
"They have a real issue with me. They chant that I’m a piece of s***; well, this piece of s*** just scored against you."
At this stage of the campaign, are you disappointed or satisfied?
"We’re four points behind Juve, we went out of the Europa League in a manner that could have been different and it was our fault in the Coppa Italia. We’re disappointed because we’re a strong side. Perhaps we slipped up in games we thought would be easy to win. Nevertheless, now we’re at the end of the campaign and four points off the leaders, we can say that we’re trailing a team that’s about to play in the Champions League final.
"Maybe some people forget that they knocked out Barcelona and other big sides. We’re just four points behind them and if you look at it from this point of view, we can be satisfied."
It’s not over yet, however, as you’ve got Chievo away in the league on Sunday.
"Once again: it’s been in our hands for four or five matches and we know that. We showed against AC Milan and Juve that we’ve got the desire and we cannot take our eyes off the prize now. We mustn’t think Chievo Verona will be a walk in the park and the same goes for the last match of the season at home to Genoa.
"They need to secure their place in this division and if they don’t win the next game, they’ll do whatever it takes to get points here. They will be two tough games."
Aside from hard graft and passion, you’ve shown improvement in your position every year. Do you feel by now that you’ve made the role your own or was it the coach who created it for you?
"Everything that you see in a game is what we’re trying to do; it’s what the gaffer demands and his style of play. He gave me this role, which is similar to [Simone] Perrotta’s. I’m there to press high up the pitch and force the opponents to make mistakes. In this respect, it was a good decision and I’m enjoying it.
"It’s always great to score goals, it’s a personal satisfaction, but the important thing is getting the win: you have to work hard and help each other out."