Tennis Legend, Raphael Nadal, is a Born Footballer, See Why

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    Only a few athletes can cross the bounds of their sports to star in others and Raphael Nadal is one of them. If Nadal wasn’t a tennis superstar, he would have been contesting with Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo for the Ballon d’Or awards. Asking why? Let’s dive into it!

    Raphael Nadal has an innate passion for football. Oftentimes, he leaves his fans gobsmacked with insane footballing skills even on the tennis court.

    On May 21, 2021, Tennis Sports Association, ATP Tour, shared stunning footage of Nadal displaying his crazy footballing skills. Interestingly, the Spaniard was playing with a tennis ball. Imagine how difficult it could be to use your legs to pick up a tennis ball on the ground?

    Nadal did it effortlessly and wowed fans. He skilfully clutched the ball with his two legs. After that, he did not allow the ball to touch the ground again. He kept lobbing it with his legs and knees for a while before giving it a perfect shoot.

    Netizens were left stunned by his incredible soccer skills. A fan wrote, “You would have been a footballer Rafa.”

    Another fan wrote, “Tennis stole a potential footballing icon. This is incredible.”

    Another said, “I can’t wait to see play football Rafa. You would have been taking in Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo on the banter books.”

    While Netizens keep drooling over Nadal’s few-minute show on the ATP Tour’s footage in 2021, that was not all the Spaniard got. An old footage of him playing football live on the field was dug out.

    In the footage, the 38-year-old showed off perfect and vintage football skills with his stealthy moves and great goalscoring abilities. He was scoring for fun and dropping opponents easily with crazy rabonas like a soccer pro.

    Asking how a tennis superstar pulls off such expert skills and mastery of another sport? Well, you may not have known that Raphael Nadal initially wanted to pursue a career in football before settling for tennis. While Nadal later decided to go for tennis, it was a jumble of warring impulses for the youngster before the decision. Both tennis and soccer beckoned on him.

    He had two uncles who majored in each of the two sports. One of the uncles is 57-year-old Miguel Angel Nadal. Miguel played for Mallorca and Barcelona and won 62 caps with Spain’s national team before calling time on his career.

    He reportedly pushed for Nadal to become a footballer. Nadal came to adore Barcelona forward and Brazil legend Ronaldo Nazario due to the influence of Miguel. Miguel went as far as giving Nadal access to Barcelona dressing room to take a photo with Ronaldo when he was a child.

    While Miguel was pushing to have the youngster as heir in the round leather game, Nadal’s other uncle and tennis coach, Toni Nadal, won the subtle duel after he introduced the boy to tennis.

    According to reports, Raphael Nadal was still hopeful of pursuing a career in soccer while he continued to train with Toni Nadal in tennis. He reportedly joined Real Madrid Academy and was making headway in his football pursuit but finally decided to settle for tennis.

    So, despite hewing a gigantic career in tennis, Raphael Nadal still loves football and has not gotten rid of the skills he learnt in his teens while trying to pursue a career in the sport.

    Raphael Nadal age

    Raphael Nadal was born in Mallorca, Spain on June 3, 1986. He is 38 years old. The tennis icon will be celebrating his 39th birthday in 2025.

    Raphael Nadal wife

    Raphael Nadal is married with children. The 38-year-old tied the knot with a three-year-younger fellow Spaniard, Maria Francisca “Xisca” Perello. After a blossoming relationship, the pair got married in 2019.

    Raphael Nadal children

    Raphael Nadal has one child, Raphael Jr. His wife Maria Francisca ”Xisca” Perello, gave birth to Raphael Jr in October 2022.

    Raphael Nadal net worth

    According to Forbes, Raphael Nadal is worth $40m. His tennis earnings is pecked at $14m while endorsements stands at $26m. He is ranked among the world’s top 30 highest-earning athletes.

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