Rafael Nadal picks his favorites for 2022 FIFA World Cup, praises Brazilian players in Real Madrid, and more

Real Madrid CF v RCD Espanyol - La Liga Santander
Rafael Nadal is a huge football fan

Rafael Nadal was the guest of honor at Real Madrid's La Liga match against Espanyol earlier this year. The Spaniard even took the symbolic first kick in a contest that Real Madrid won 4-0 to clinch their 35th league title.

The 36-year-old has always been vocal about his love for football. In fact, being good at both sports, he was made to choose between football and tennis at the age of 12. His uncle, Miguel Nadal, was a professional footballer for Spain and Barcelona during the 1990s.

The tennis legend is currently in Turin preparing for the 2022 ATP Finals, which start on November 13. During a recent conversation with Brazilian media outlet ge, the tennis icon was asked to predict the winner of the upcoming FIFA World Cup, to be played from November 20 to December 18 in Qatar.

Although the World No. 2 couldn't pick one team as his favorite due to the extremely high level of competition, he nominated a few that he thought were the favorites. However, he also stated that there was always the possibility of upsets.

"It's difficult. The World Cup is a very difficult competition to predict. I would say the favorites are Brazil, Argentina, France, Germany, Portugal, and Spain. There are many games, but these are the favorites, although there is always a chance for some surprise," Nadal said.

The 22-time-Grand Slam champion further spoke about his favorite football club Real Madrid and the Brazilian players who are a crucial part of it.

"I'm happy because Madrid won the League and the Champions League. We are a young and exciting team. We have Vinicius Jr. and Rodrygo, who are having an incredible season, and there's Eder Militao too. I'm very happy with the Brazilians on the team," he added.

"I don't know if Latin American public will have many opportunities to see me in the future" - Rafael Nadal on his exhibition tour

Rafael Nadal (L) and Casper Ruud
Rafael Nadal (L) and Casper Ruud

It has been over a month since Rafael Nadal announced that he will organize an exhibition tour throughout South America and Mexico. He will be joined by World No. 4 Casper Ruud of Norway. The tour starts on November 23 in Argentina's capital Buenos Aires and the two players will face each other in Brazil's Belo Horizonte on November 26.

During his interview with ge, the 36-year-old stated that not many opportunities were left for him to play in Latin America and so, he wanted the fans to enjoy these matches.

"I'm very excited to return to Latin America," Nadal said. "I don't know if the Latin American public will have many opportunities to see me in the future, playing professionally. That's why I want to make the most of this chance, playing against a world top like Casper, a good friend. There will be exciting, difficult, and interesting matches for the public who will be able to enjoy the events and keep good memories."

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Edited by Anirudh
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