“Best Athlete of All Time”: Rafael Nadal Conferred with the Highest Award of Madrid

Published 12/03/2020, 10:14 AM EST
Tennis – French Open – Galeries Lafayette Rooftop, Paris, France – Spain’s Rafael Nadal poses with the trophy after winning the French Open yesterday REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

In another feather to Rafael Nadal’s cap, the Spaniard has been conferred with the Grand Cross of the Order of Dos de Mayo of the Community of Madrid.


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A recognition of Rafael Nadal’s merits and values

The honor was in recognition of Nadal’s stupendous records in tennis, his merits as a person and his values.


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Spain’s Rafael Nadal in action during his semi-final match against Russia’s Daniil Medvedev Action Images via Reuters/Paul Childs

The award was presented by Isabel Dias Ayuso, president of the Community of Madrid, at a glittering event at the Royal Post Office, headquarters of the regional government.

The president of the community said the award was a symbol of recognition for Nadal’s “enormous sporting record and his extraordinary merits as a person.”

Nada dedicates award to Covid victims in homeland

“We have before us the best athlete of all time, with values, in addition, such as humility, effort, discipline and respect for the rival,” Ayuso said.

Nadal dedicated the award to the victims of the COVID-19 pandemic and their families in his homeland.


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I am not exaggerating if I say that it has affected us all in one way or another, but I want to send a message of encouragement to the families who have lost a loved one,” Nadal said.

“And I wanted to dedicate a few words to the health personnel, especially those in Madrid, very punished in the first wave, and to the State Forces and Security, thank you,” the Spaniard said.

Nadal shares award with ‘citizens of Madrid’

He said, “It is an honor to receive this award and I want to share it with all the citizens of Madrid. I always receive a special affection from everyone here. In sports, in this city all sport is supported.”

Nadal hoped that his city and the world, in general, will soon be able to rise from the pandemic.


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“(This) terrible pandemic will soon be part of memory and we can return to share and enjoy the things that have always made us happy as soon as possible. Soon we will celebrate things as before,” Nadal said.

On the career front, the Spaniard had an underwhelming ATP season but did win his 20th Grand Slam at the French Open this year.


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(All quotes have been translated)


Priyabrata Chowdhury

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Priyabrata Chowdhury is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. He has been a print journalist for a decade, producing news pages for leading national dailies such as the Hindustan Times and The New Indian Express. His passion for sports eventually drove him to tennis writing.