Coming from a sports family has its own advantages as well as disadvantages. On one hand, members of the family can avail first-hand knowledge and advice from the professional and on the other, it can create sporting rivalries within the family. The situation is not very different in the household of Rafael Nadal.
As a kid, Rafa got both football and tennis guidance from his family members - Miguel Angel Nadal and Toni Nadal respectively. His two paternal uncles helped Rafael Nadal develop a strong love for the field of sports from a very young age.
In a recent interview with Calcio Napoli 24 Live, former Barcelona player Miguel Angel Nadal discussed the upcoming tie between SSC Napoli and FC Barcelona, and also revealed where his nephew's - allegiance would lie.
Rafael Nadal will be pleased if Napoli make a great game: Miguel Angel Nadal
Miguel Angel Nadal played for FC Barcelona during the period of 1991-1999. Due to his versatility he could slot in both in the midfield and anywhere in the back four. Miguel represented the Blaugrana in more than 200 games.
Despite having a former FC Barcelona player in the family, Rafael Nadal grew up as a supporter of their arch-rivals Real Madrid. This was mainly because Rafael’s father, Sebastien Nadal, was himself an ardent support of ‘Los Blancos’.
In view of the upcoming Champions League tie between FC Barcelona and SSC Napoli (which is currently at 1-1 with FC Barcelona having the away goal), Miguel Nadal was asked if his nephew Rafael Nadal would support the Italian club over the Catalonians. Miguel didn't give a direct response, but made it fairly clear who he expected his nephew to support.
“Rafa is a football fan, but I know him and I know he likes Real Madrid from an early age,” Miguel said.
The rivalry between Real Madrid and FC Barcelona is arguably the biggest in all of football. It is next to impossible for a Real Madrid supporter to root for FC Barcelona, and vice-versa.
Rafael Nadal himself knows a thing or two about rivalries, as he’s had two excellent ones over the years with Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic. That is why many would assume he'd be rooting for the club from Naples, and Miguel thinks so too.
“He will surely expect the best player to win. If for some reason Napoli manage to make a great game, he will certainly be pleased,” he said.
Rafael Nadal will in all likelihood be more focused on the match between his club Real Madrid and Manchester City. Having said that, a sportsman of his intellect and values would also watch other matches in order to appreciate good performances, irrespective of the team he supports.
His uncle highlighted that attribute of his nephew’s by saying:
“When one is a professional sportsman, in the end he hopes that the best will win."Published 31 Jul 2020, 23:59 IST