The laurels keep pouring in for Rafael Nadal. After winning the Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship award on Monday, the Spaniard has now been awarded the 2020 DEX Legend Award, commonly known as the 'Premio Leyenda', by El Desmarque. After being informed of the recognition, Nadal expressed his gratitude and explained how he has always been keen to "transmit positive values".
The DEX Awards are given out annually by Spanish sports infotainment giants El Desmarque. Every year, the jury selects outstanding sportspersons plying their trade in Spain for their on-field and off-field contributions.
El Desmarque pays special importance to positive values, and Rafael Nadal won the title of ‘Legend’ for all his positive work throughout his career. Sergio Ramos was also conferred with the title of ‘DEX Legend’ or ‘Premio Leyenda’.
Rafael Nadal filmed his acceptance speech at the Rafa Nadal Museum, and he thanked Bank of Santander (the main sponsors) and El Desmarque for choosing him. In his speech, the Mallorcan also stressed the importance of setting a good example for the youth.
"I want to thank El Desmarque that you have thought of me," Nadal said. "I have been trying my whole life to transmit values that are positive, they have tried to educate me so that it is so and I hope they are values that help some young people to grow in the appropriate way."
Rafael Nadal went on to explain how the children at his Academy and Foundation are given similar guidance so that they have a chance of a brighter future.
“We try to instill the appropriate values for the personal and professional development of children who have an uncertain future,” continued the Spaniard. “Also since the opening of the academy is what we also try apart from helping children to develop their maximum talent in tennis, so that when they leave the academy they leave with adequate preparation and education for the future.”
I want to dedicate the award to all the people who have directly suffered the impact of the virus: Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal chose to dedicate his DEX Legend Award to everyone affected by COVID-19, the deadly disease that has been wreaking havoc all around the globe for nearly a year.
"I want to dedicate the award to all the people who have directly suffered the impact of the virus, who have lost someone important and also to all these people who are suffering it every day both at the health and economic level,” Rafael Nadal said.
The CEO of Bank of Santander (Spain), Rami Aboukahir, lavished rich praise on Rafael Nadal while giving him the prize.
“If as a tennis player he is a legend, as a person he is exceptional, unique. It is a pride to have him with us,” said Aboukahir.
The 13-time French Open champion also expressed his gratitude to Rami Aboukahir and Pau Gasol, the latter of whom was awarded a DEX Award in the Excellence category. Nadal mentioned how he sees Gasol as an exemplary figure, and that he was ‘very excited’ to share a similar prize.
“Rami, thank you very much for your words and also thanks to Santander for the unconditional support that you give me," Nadal said. "Also to Pau, thank you very much for your speech, it has made me very excited and you already know that for me you are a great reference, and to share this award with you because it makes me very excited.”Published 22 Dec 2020, 16:39 IST