“Example to Everyone”: FC Barcelona Star Lionel Messi Lauds Rafael Nadal for Claiming the Top Honour

Published 05/07/2021, 1:15 AM EDT
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – AUGUST 31: Rafael Nadal of Spain celebrates winning his Men’s Singles third round match against Hyeon Chung of South Korea on day six of the 2019 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on August 31, 2019 in Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)


20-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal became the Laureus Sportsman of the Year for the second time in his career. For this reason, last year’s winner and Argentine soccer legend Lionel Messi lauded him in a congratulatory video message.

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Rafael Nadal of Spain celebrates after winning championship point during his Men’s Singles Final against Novak Djokovic of Serbia on day fifteen of the 2020 French Open at Roland Garros in Paris, France. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

In comparison, Rafa and Leo are both sedulous on the field and humble outside. They are also role models for their fellow athletes and millions of fans worldwide because of their pure athletic spirit.

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Lionel Messi praises Rafael Nadal for being at the highest level

Last year, Spaniard Rafael Nadal triumphed the French Open for a record-extending 13th time. With this, he also leveled Roger Federer at 20 Grand Slams each.

Thus, the record six-time Ballon d’Or award winner Lionel Messi also held Rafa worthy of the award. Moreover, he praised the Spaniard with the kindest of words.

“Hi, Rafa. I just wanted to congratulate you on this award, which is obviously more than deserved. I would also like to say that you are an example to everyone because of your hard work, your perseverance, and for being at the highest level for so many years. And I wanted to send you warm regards,” the Barcelona legend said.

Recently, the 34-year-old had also shown support for Messi over leaked contract row. Being a Real Madrid fan, Nadal desires to bring the Argentine to his rival club.

There have been many similar transfers of gratification between the two champions. It goes on to say why they have become more than just athletes.

Furthermore, Nadal congratulated his fellow nominees and mentioned his ‘great friend’ Federer in his acceptance speech. The other nominees were Lewis Hamilton, LeBron James, Robert Lewandowski, Armand Duplantis, and Joshua Cheptegei.

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Nadal reaches the Mutua Madrid Open 2021 quarterfinals

Presently, Rafa entered his 16th Madrid Open quarterfinal. He will face German World No.6 Alexander Zverev for a seat in the semifinal.

Tennis – ATP Masters 1000 – Madrid Open – Caja Magica, Madrid, Spain – May 6, 2021 Spain’s Rafael Nadal celebrates winning his third round match against Australia’s Alexei Popyrin REUTERS/Juan Medina

Additionally, the five-time champion in Madrid is raising the bar in every match. It is hard to imagine him stop before lifting the title for a record sixth title.

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However, Madrid and Rome are only lead-up tournaments to his main goal, the French Open 2021. But this time around, Nadal can improve his record to 14 and even cross Federer in the G.O.A.T race.

Given the stakes, the Spaniard will aim to go all the way in Paris. The good news is the Swiss maestro is also playing at Roland Garros this year.

Will Nadal become the first male tennis player to own 21 Grand Slam titles?

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Purav Joshi

818 articles

Purav Joshi is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having a degree in Films, Television and Media Production, he guided his passion for writing and journalism into the sport of aces and rallies. With over 2 years of experience as a copywriter, Purav has authored over 500 tennis articles.

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