'Rafael Nadal knows what he is looking for', says former ATP ace

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'Rafael Nadal knows what he is looking for', says former ATP ace

Rafael Nadal admits that Lionel Messi has given him a few moments of anguish as he is a Real Madrid fan, but adds that he has nothing but a high level of respect and admiration for the Argentine football icon. This week, Nadal traveled to Buenos Aires for the first part of his tour of Latin America.

A PSG player currently representing Argentina at the World Cup in Qatar, Messi played for Barcelona for more than a decade and a half before moving to France. "As a Real Madrid fan, I have suffered for Messi. Although as a sports lover, I often enjoy watching him play.

He is a top player in history and played almost his entire career in my country," Nadal said, according to Eurosport Spain. After showing his respect for Messi, Nadal named Argentina as one of the candidates for the World Cup title.

On Tuesday, Argentina suffered a 2-1 loss to Saudi Arabia but still have a chance of qualifying for the knockout stage. "I still think that Argentina is a candidate to win the World Cup. There are teams with a bit of an advantage over the others: Argentina, Spain, France, Portugal, Germany.

But any team will have options. It cannot be predicted. As a Spaniard I trust us," Nadal explained. Meanwhile, Nadal also said in Buenos Aires that he believes the future of tennis is in good hands. With Roger Federer retiring and with Nadal and Novak Djokovic already well into their thirties, tennis is slowly undergoing changes.

"In the past there were Borg, McEnroe, Sampras and Lendl. Today we are and there is no one more important than the sport. Every year there will be four Grand Slam champions and multiple historical champions."

Mats Wilander on Rafa Nadal

Tennis legend Mats Wilander has said that Rafael Nadal still has another three or four years left in his career.

"If you have just won the Australian Open and the French Open in 2022, I would say you have three or four more years. I don't care about the fact that Rafa turns 40 in four years. I don't think it matters because you are going to have in your mind 'Hey, kids, I've done this now since I was 17-18 years old,'" the Swede said.

"Rafa knows what he is looking for: he knows emotionally what he is looking for; he knows physically what he is looking for. He knows how much he has to train to have any chance of achieving that feeling, both physically and mentally. If his injuries are okay, I think he is going to get there.