Rafael Nadal is an avid Madridista, but it does not stop him enjoying a moment of greatness authored by Lionel Messi.
One of tennis’ greatest ever players and an institution in Spain, Nadal can on occasion be seen in the director’s box at the Santiago Bernabeu. According to some reports, he is also Florentino Perez’s choice for a successor to him at Real Madrid.
Speaking to Diario AS, Nadal admitted that he was behind Barcelona icon Messi in the World Cup final.
“I was rooting for the spectacle, because unfortunately Spain went out in the round of 16. It was a spectacular final. I feel sorry for many French friends that I have and for all that Paris and France mean to me. But I also have many Argentine friends and in that sense, as a lover and nostalgic for sport, that Messi lifted the World Cup made me happy.”
As a sporting great himself, Nadal will have an extra appreciation of what it takes to remain at the summit of a sport for so many years. That appreciation brought him to the verge if tears.
“That someone so great reaches the culmination with a title that was missing, of this calibre, with all that it means for Argentina, it seemed fair to me, I enjoyed it and I was moved. Without supporting Argentina, when Messi scored the third goal, tears came to my eyes. But because of the emotion of seeing someone so great achieve what they were missing and someone who had suffered so much to achieve it. I really enjoyed the final, especially from minute 70 onward, which was spectacular. Before it seemed that everything was very easy, controlled for Argentina.”
Messi not only managed to get over the hump with Argentina, but did so with his best World Cup performances of the lot. If the tournament was dubbed as Messi’s ‘last dance’, then he delivered a Netflix-worthy drama.