Legends such as Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer have taken tennis to another dimension. The Big 3 have dominated the sport like no other by helping to expand its popularity, as well as striving to put young people in the best possible conditions for the future.
In one respect, tennis can be considered lucky that Nadal decided to pursue this career, as the Spaniard was also an excellent footballer. This indiscretion was confirmed by Rafa's uncle and former coach, Toni Nadal, during a long interview with Infobae.
The 19-time Grand Slam champion possessed all the credentials to excel with his feet. As you know, Nadal's other uncle, Miguel Angel, was a great Barcelona defender, but Rafael has always cheered for eternal rivals Real Madrid.
Toni Nadal on Novak Djokovic's PTPA
“Rafael Nadal had the uncle who played for Blaugrana and the family was divided between the Catalans and the Madridistas. I think he chose well,” Uncle Toni said. “When he played football he did it very well.
He was an interior that reached the position of center forward,” Toni added. “He even became the top scorer of his team (Olympique)! He did not have the characteristics of the traditional 9-zone to wait for the ball and convert, but he moved around the front of the attack starting from the left zone, due to his left-handedness”.
Rafael Nadal and his uncle have both spoken out against the PTPA right since the day the proposal was laid out by Novak Djokovic. “We believe that this is not the time to raise a situation like this," Toni continued.
"I think that the organizers of the competitions are going to lose a lot of money if they do not have the presence of several players and we understand that it is not the time for everyone to do what they want. I think athletes are sometimes selfish,” Uncle Toni continued.
“You think about what each one generates, but sometimes you forget that there is someone behind you who is betting your money so that you can be more productive. Something similar was experienced in Barcelona with Messi and also at Real Madrid.
If Messi had left Barcelona he would not have won anything; and both he and the club would have lost a lot”. Nadal and Federer called for “unity, not separation” after Djokovic revealed at the weekend that he was spearheading a controversial breakaway union for professional male players.