Tennis legend Rafael Nadal has been an inspiration to many after coming back from several injuries at different points in his career. Now a leading football manager is using Nadal as a role model for one of his own players.
Roterhan United's Paul Warne is hoping Nadal's heroics can inspire his captain Richard Wood. Warne hopes that Wood and the other seniors in his team will continue to play an important role as his team chases a promotion.
According to Yorkshire Post, Warne says, “Woody, (Joe) Mattock, Smudge (Michael Smith), Shaun MacDonald and even Pricey (Lewis Price), to a certain extent, are definitely essential. Woody is definitely a driving force.
I pulled an article out of Sports Illustrated for Woody this week about Rafa Nadal. It said that about four years ago, a journalist said to Nadal: ‘you are gone and your legs are gone’ and all that. I said to Woody: ‘do not worry about your age’ and that I would never be ageist – I played until I was 40.
Older players bring a lot. As all of my players have got weaknesses, they have got strengths and one of Woody’s ones is leadership in the dressing room and he wants to win everything. He wants to head the crossbar. Shaun is like a ‘quiet assassin’ and the lads have much respect for him and he calms them down.
The older players will definitely have an effect. It does not feel like there are only three games left and everyone is getting really giddy. There is a third of the season left – a long time. It is about keeping the standards up in training and the senior professionals definitely helping that."
The 33 year old Nadal is currently ranked No. 2 in the world and won 2 Grand Slam titles in 2019 - he has now won 19 Grand Slam titles in his career - just one short of the all time record currently held by Swiss legend Roger Federer.