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"He is a top player in history and he played almost his entire career in my country"- Rafael Nadal on his admiration for football legend Lionel Messi

Rafael Nadal (L) and Lionel Messi with the Copa America trophy
Rafael Nadal (L) and Lionel Messi with the Copa America trophy

World No. 2 Rafael Nadal has always been vocal about his passion for football. The Spaniard is a huge fan of Real Madrid CF and is currently cheering for his home nation at the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Nadal arrived in the capital city of Argentina ahead of the Latin American tour, which is set to commence on November 23. During a press conference on the tour, he opened up about his love for Real Madrid and shared words of admiration for Argentine football legend Lionel Messi. Being a Los Blancos supporter, the player reflected on how much he 'suffered from Messi' during the Argentine's time in Barcelona.

"As a Real Madrid fan, I have suffered from Messi. Although as a sports lover, many times I enjoy watching him play. He is a top player in history and he played almost his entire career in my country,” Nadal expressed.

With the ongoing buzz about the FIFA World Cup, the Spaniard, during the press meet, was asked about whom he considers favorites to lift the title.

"I still think that Argentina is a candidate to win the World Cup. There are teams with a tad of 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," the Mallorcan said.

"I know that she is a great icon within this country, but also in the world"- Rafael Nadal on Argentine Gabriela Sabatini

Rafael Nadal looks forward to sharing the court with Gabriela Sabatini
Rafael Nadal looks forward to sharing the court with Gabriela Sabatini

Rafael Nadal is all set to take part in the Latin American tour. He will be playing at six locations in six different countries within Latin America as part of the exhibition trip. The Spaniard will kickstart the tour in Buenos Aires on Wednesday before traveling to Chile for Day 2.

The 22-time Grand Slam champion will pair up with Argentine Gabriela Sabatini for his doubles match against Casper Ruud and Gisela Dulko on the opening day. Ahead of the match, he caught up with the press. During his conference, the 36-year-old shared his happiness about getting the opportunity to share the court with Sabatini.

"I know that she is a great icon within this country, but also in the world. Sharing the court with her is a great satisfaction. It will be a moment nice," the Spaniard stated.

Sabatini was one of the most dominant players in the 1980s, registering 41 titles during her career. She will play in front of her home crowd in Buenos Aires at the Mary Teran de Weiss Stadium on Wednesday as part of the exhibition tour.

What is the foot injury that has troubled Rafael Nadal over the years? Check here

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Edited by Sabine Algur
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