BELGIUM

Wilmots admits Nainggolan has a smoking habit

"I can confirm that Radja smokes. It's actually quite a common habit in France and Italy. If he needs a cigarette, I'm not going to stop him. I'm flexible about it".

Wilmots admits Nainggolan has a smoking habit
EMMANUEL DUNAND AFP

Belgium coach Marc Wilmots admitted today that  Radja Nainngolan is a smoker and will regularly go out onto the balcony at the team hotel at Euro 2016 if he feels the urge for a nicotine dose. Wilmots says that he doesn't have a problem truning a blind eye to the player's smoking habits as long as he continues to produce lucky strikes out on the field of play.

Nainngolan, who found the net in the win over Sweden, isn't a heavy smoker and is on about six cigarettes a day.

"I can confirm that Radja smokes. It's quite a common habit in France and Italy. If he needs a cigarette, I'm not going to stop him. I'm quite flexible about it. It's his body and as long as he is playing well on the pitch, it's not a problem for me", said in an interview with Belgian media outlet Sporza.

Wilmots revealed that Nainngolan has a room with a balcony to accomodate his smoking habit. 
"Whenever the squad travels, I always request a room with a balcony for him, so that he doesn't set off the smoke alarms. If I had banned him from smoking five or six cigarettes a day, I think he might destroy his room. But I'd also like to point out that he is the minority - hardly anyone in the Belgium squad smokes".

While Wilmots is permissive of Nainngolan's smoking, he was quick to point out that it's a habit which could shorten the player's life: "That's his problem. If he wants to continue playing until he's 30 or 35, then it's something he needs to think about", he concluded.