WATCH: Rafael Nadal Launches a Tennis-Soccer Challenge During Unveiling of Real Mallorca’s New Home Kit

Published 08/07/2021, 12:30 AM EDT
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JANUARY 26: Rafael Nadal of Spain smiles during a practice session on day seven of the 2020 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 26, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Wayne Taylor/Getty Images)


Tennis great Rafael Nadal has yet again put on a soccer jersey, but this time it is of neither Real Madrid nor Atletico Madrid. Instead, the Spaniard unveiled the new home kit jersey for his hometown club, Real Club Deportivo Mallorca. During the event, he also flaunted his exceptional juggling skills.

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What’s more interesting is that Nadal found a way to combine tennis and soccer, and it instantly became the newest challenge on social media – #Rafakickupchallenge.

In fact, many players on the ATP Tour consider Nadal could play soccer professionally. His juggling skills indeed help that case.

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Rafael Nadal kickstarts a tennis ball juggle challenge

Notably, the #Rafakickupchallenge is to try and beat the score Nadal has set juggling a tennis ball. Compared to that on a tennis court, even this score of the Mallorcan would require something special to overcome.

Wearing the new RCD Mallorca kit, the 20-time Grand Slam champion went on to exhibit his exquisite control, completing a whopping 53 juggles.

Although he is representing his hometown club, Nadal is a die-hard Real Madrid fan. Also, there were speculations about him playing an exhibition tennis match on the newly upgraded Santiago Bernabeu.

Tennis-wise, the 35-year-old made his ATP Tour comeback at the Citi Open 2021 after a two-month break. Surprisingly, he lost to World No.50 Lloyd Harris in the third round of the tournament.

Aug 5, 2021; Washington, DC, USA; Rafael Nadal of Spain hits a backhand against Lloyd Harris of South Africa (not pictured) during the Citi Open at Rock Creek Park Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports

Despite the loss, Nadal felt good to be on the tennis court once again. Thus, moving forward, he will be looking forward to finding his winning ways.

Watch this story: Tennis Rivals Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer’s Top Funny Moments

Where will Nadal play next?

Following his exit in Washington, Nadal will travel to Canada to participate in the Rogers Cup 2021. Funnily enough, the official Twitter handle of the tournament trolled him over a little misnaming.

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Furthermore, Rafa will return to the States to play at the Cincinnati Masters. All this training would go into trying for the 21st Grand Slam title at US Open 2021.

All in all, Nadal’s participation at upcoming tennis events will guarantee some high-quality tennis. Also, it would be interesting to see whether he can stop Novak Djokovic from winning the Grand Slam title.

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Who do you think will win the last Grand Slam of 2021?

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Purav Joshi

1120 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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