For Rafael Nadal, his personal legacy is far more important than his professional legacy. In a recent interview with the El Periodico website, Nadal claimed that he would rather he remembered as a good person than as a great tennis champion.
Rafael Nadal has won 20 Grand Slams in his career, and is known as one of the best competitors in the history of the sport. But he has managed to balance that with an incredibly humble and sportsmanlike attitude, which has made him a favorite not only with fans across the world but also with his peers
"For me, by far, the personal issue is more important than the professional one," Rafael Nadal said. " I always say that I would like to be remembered as a good person, much more than a champion or anything else. Because, in the end, the victories, the titles, are moments of happiness, euphoria, adrenaline, success, but all that is temporary and I have always been very clear about that. The success and interest that you generate in people, in companies, is something temporary. That interest is for what I do, not for what I am."
Rafael Nadal went on to stress that it is important for the people close to you to have a good opinion about you, as opposed to the public having a good opinion about you. According to the Spaniard, outsiders can be presented with a manufactured public persona.
"The important thing is that the people who know you have a positive opinion of you, the image that is transferred to the world can be manufactured," Nadal said.
The 34-year-old laid special emphasis on public personalities behaving responsibly, given that so many people look up to them as role models.
"I believe that all of us who are popular, who appear on television, to say the least, must be very responsible, because there are many people you can influence, for better and for worse and, therefore, we must take care of our behavior, our words," Nadal added. "I try to act naturally, you cannot be a marketing product, if you are, at some point, something negative comes up that destroys that disguise."
"I would not be able to behave on the court as I behave if my attitude were pre-fabricated, if it were a studied pose, at some point it would be discovered that I am not like that," he went on. "I try, I insist, to be natural. I don't pretend to like everyone. What's more, I think that's impossible. I try to be correct with everyone, educated and, above all, thank life for the positive and good things that happen to me."
Rafael Nadal explains why he avoids confrontations in his personal life
Rafael Nadal is known to be a ruthless and fierce competitor on the court. As fellow ATP pro Casper Ruud recently commented, "On the field, Rafael Nadal is both fearless and a little ruthless towards the opponents. One would almost think that he enjoys bothering them with the game he plays."
But Rafael Nadal takes a completely opposite approach in his personal life - where he avoids confrontation over small issues as far as possible.
"I try to get along with everyone," Nadal said. "Why? Because I don't like to argue, I am not one of fighting.. I don't like confrontation, nothing! I, with my partner, never fight. I like to exchange opinions, but I do not share the idea that problems have to be faced head-on, face-to-face. I only do that if it is an insurmountable problem, but if it is a little problem and we can turn it around the other way, avoid bad rolls, well I give it to you."
"I am not to live with problems," he added. "Life already provides you with real, authentic problems, to turn the little problems into big problems. Faced with these little problems, the best thing to do is a little pause, let a few days go by and, sure, everything returns to its normal course."Published 23 Oct 2020, 14:38 IST