Rafael Nadal opens up on his respect, admiration for Lionel Messi

Rafael Nadal admits that Lionel Messi gave him some heartbreaking moments since he is a Real Madrid fan but added he has nothing but a great level of respect and admiration for the Argentine football icon. 

This week, Nadal traveled to Buenos Aires for the first part of his Latin America Tour. 

Messi, a PSG player that currently represents Argentina at the Qatar World Cup, played in Barcelona for over a decade and a half before moving to France. 

“As a Real Madrid fan, I have suffered because of Messi. Although as a sports lover, many times I enjoy watching him play. He is a top player in history and he played almost his entire career in my country,” Nadal said, per Eurosport Spain.

Nadal: Argentina can win the World Cup

After showing his respect for Messi, Nadal named Argentina as one of the candidates for the World Cup title. 

On Tuesday, Argentina suffered a 2-1 defeat to Saudi Arabia but they still have a chance to qualify for the knockout stage. 

“I still think that Argentina is a candidate to win the World Cup. There are teams with a tad of advantage over the others: Argentina, Spain, France, Portugal, Germany. But any team will have options. It cannot be predicted. As a Spaniard I trust us,” Nadal explained.

Meanwhile, Nadal also said in Buenos Aires that he believes the tennis future is in good hands. 

With Roger Federer retiring and Nadal and Novak Djokovic being well in their thirties, tennis is slowly going through changes.

“In the past there was Borg, McEnroe, Sampras, Lendl. Today we are and there is no one more important than sport. Every year there will be four Grand Slam champions and multiple historical champions. The next generation will continue to forge their way with the titles. Time will generate stars that are on the way,” Nadal said.