Rafael Nadal has received a medal of merit from the National Police in the Balearic Islands. The award was presented to Nadal at the feast of the Holy Guardian Angels on Friday.
The Spaniard was one of 46 people honored by the organization, the rest of whom were largely from the police force. The medals were given in recognition of the efforts made by civilians and police personnel during the COVID-19 pandemic.
A lieutenant from the Guardia Civil's Seprona division also received the honor, for his work in environmental protection and animal welfare. Francina Armengol, President of the Balearic Islands, was present at the ceremony where the medals were handed out.
Rafael Nadal was the medal for his service to the community of Spain, as well as his "sacrifice and endless search for excellency" on the tennis court.
"For his solidarity and constant willingness to collaborate with our society and help those in need," it was said at the ceremony. "His commitment to look for the common well-being. His leadership that comes with humility, work and sacrifice and endless search for excellency that have made him one of best athletes in history."
Rafael Nadal's various honors over the past few years
The National Police merit medal is not the first honor Rafael Nadal has received in Spain. The 35-year-old was given the 'Grand Cross of the Royal Order of Sporting Merit', Spain's highest sporting distinction, just last year. He was awarded the honor in the immediate aftermath of his record-extending 13th Roland Garros title, which also helped him equal Roger Federer's all-time record of 20 Slams.
Last year Nadal also won the 2020 DEX Legend Award, commonly known as the 'Premio Leyenda', given out by El Desmarque. He was awarded the honor alongside Spain and Pairs Saint-Germain defender Sergio Ramos.
The CEU Angel Herrera Award in the Ethic and Values category is another impressive distinction that finds a place in the cabinet of the Spaniard. That award recognized Rafael Nadal for "his humility, effort, discipline and social commitment" on the court as well as his work through the Rafa Nadal Foundation.
Towards the end of last year, the 35-year-old also received AS' Sports Solidarity award. And early in 2021, Nadal was bestowed with an award at the Sport Values Awards gala, which was organized by newspaper Sport and Prensa Iberica.