Is Rafael Nadal a Real Madrid fan? How the tennis star became a supporter and why he loves the royals

Rafael Nadal and Real Madrid are two of the most prominent names in the history of Spanish sport in their role as tennis icon and most successful football club in European competition.

At the 2022 French Open, Nadal takes part in a tournament that has little more than a Karim Benzema volley away from the scene of the 2021-22 Champions League final with the league champions.

The 35-year-old is personally involved in league football and experienced the pressure of taking part in a grand final first-hand after beating Daniil Medvedev in the Australian Open final in January.

With that, Nadal won a total of 21 Grand Slam titles – eight more than the number of Champions League trophies won by Real Madrid. How closely will he be following their fortunes at the Stade de France when Los Blancos take on Liverpool?

Rafael Nadal

Is Rafael Nadal a Real Madrid fan?

Nadal is known to be a supporter of the dominant team in Europe and the modern Champions League – so much so that he asked for one of his games to be rescheduled lest it clash with a crucial game for Los Blancos in this year’s European competition.

The home favorites were due to play in the Madrid Masters, while Carlo Ancelotti’s side host Premier League champions Manchester City in the second leg of the Champions League semi-finals.

The fourth in the world rankings addressed the special request to tournament director Feliciano Lopez, who then scheduled the match for the afternoon.

As it turned out, the game was not to be missed – especially for Madrid fans. Two goals after 90 minutes gave City victory, then Karim Benzema converted an extra-time penalty with amazing composure to send Madrid through to the final. Nadal would have been overjoyed.

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What did Rafael Nadal say about Real Madrid support?

Nadal’s uncle Miguel Angel made more than 200 appearances for Barcelona, ​​winning five La Liga titles and the European Cup in 1992 when City manager Pep Guardiola was among his team-mates.

Adorable pictures of Nadal on the pitch in a Barcelona shirt with his uncle have surfaced, but the influence of an even closer relative meant he was destined to follow Madrid.

“As everyone knows, Real and Barca are the two most bitter rivals in world football,” explained Nadal. “Why am I a Real fan?

“Very easily. Because my dad β€” which gives you a measure of how big an influence he had on me as a person.”

What else has Rafael Nadal done to show his support for Real Madrid?

In his autobiography, Nadal revealed that he will wake up at any hour, wherever he is in the world, to watch Real Madrid matches – regardless of his tennis schedule for the day.

“And I will build my daily training program around the time of the games if necessary,” he added. “I’m a fanatic.”

As a child, Nadal dreamed of becoming a footballer and admitted that he was more nervous before Madrid games than before tennis matches.

One of the highest paid athletes in the world, Nadal invested in league club Mallorca in 2010 to pay off his debts.

MORE: A look back at the controversial 2018 Champions League final between Liverpool and Real Madrid

What did Rafael Nadal do after Spain became world champions?

The sports star was among the few non-footballers allowed into the sanctuary of La Roja after beating the Netherlands in the 2010 World Cup final.

Nadal was pictured with an enthusiastic grin in the dressing room after the then-conquering Spanish side added the biggest prize in football to their Euro 2008 trophy.

It was part of a wonderful year for Nadal winning the French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open.

Will Rafael Nadal attend the 2022 Champions League final?

It is likely that despite all the duties at the French Open, Nadal will be able to take part in the highest-profile club football game in Europe.

The schedule seems to have pleased Nadal, who admitted: “I’m here to play Roland Garros… but I have my tickets ready.”

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