Rafael Nadal: 'He does things that seemed impossible from our country'

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Rafael Nadal: 'He does things that seemed impossible from our country'

Rafael Nadal is an absolute legend of Spanish sport, who has been able to extend his career well beyond initial expectations. The former number 1 in the world remained at a very high level even after he was over 30, although injuries made their appearance again this year.

The 35-year-old from Manacor had to deal with a foot problem, which severely limited him during Roland Garros. Rafa was unable to play his cards to the end in Paris, having to yield to Novak Djokovic in the semifinals. From there came the decision to give up Wimbledon and the Tokyo Olympics, hoping to get back in good shape on American hardcourt.

However, a couple of matches in Washington were enough for him to realize that the problem was not solved. Nadal has therefore chosen to close his 2021 prematurely and has undergone a small foot treatment in recent weeks. Meanwhile, another absolute myth of Iberian sport like Pau Gasol has announced his retirement from basketball.

During his 23-year career, Pau won two NBA titles and three Olympic medals. In a recent interview with 'Cadena SER', the 20-time Grand Slam champion paid tribute to the six-time NBA All-Star.

Rafael Nadal on Pau Gasol

"The reality is that it is a sad day in a way," Rafael Nadal said.

"One of the great legends of our sport is leaving. I honestly think I'm very happy for him. He has been able to finish his career the way he wanted, playing and fighting for titles and doing it at a very high level. He leaves behind a legacy that I believe is indelible in every way.

Our relationship goes far beyond sports. I think that in the future we will continue to have a fantastic relationship and maybe we can do things together," he said. "When two people understand each other, the world is open to joining the paths.

We have already done it many times with our projects and why not continue doing things that both amuse us and that somehow make us spend more time together." During the course of the interview, Rafael Nadal touched upon the aspects of Pau Gasol's character that made him so popular among sports fans.

"Pau has exceeded any possible limit," he said. "He is a legend in every way and I think he has achieved something very difficult: to do things that seemed impossible from our country, now we see him as usual. He played in the NBA, won rings, was in the All-Star, triumph with the Spanish team, has been a leader, etc. All this has been achieved from respect and education."