Nadal honoured in front of the King
Rafael Nadal has been endorsed as the greatest Spanish sportsman of all time. The ten time Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell winner received the prize in the presence of the King of Spain. Nadal’s star shone brightest at an event held to celebrate the entire galaxy of Spanish sport and to commemorate 50 years of the newspaper AS.
Nadal, who referred to sport as "a great family", had thank you words to those who gave him the award and did not want to forget the many other Spanish athletes who have not been able to achieve so many successes: "We are many athletes that have been awarded, but we must make a special mention to those who have not been able to and not been successful in their sporting career.
Mireia Belmonte was acclaimed as the best Spanish athlete of all time. Sebastian Coe was also honoured for this sporting career as well as his career as director, launched one of the most important messages of the evening when he said that "sport is a value of Spanish culture."
Tennis had a high share of prominence. In addition to Nadal, the Madrid newspaper recognized two unforgettable achievements from different eras: the triumph of Manuel Orantes at the 1975 US Open, Alejandro Davidovich’s triumph at Wimbledon in winning the 2017 junior tournament.
King Felipe VI recalled in his speech the crucial importance of the Olympic Games of Barcelona in the history of Spanish sport and wanted to extend in a special way in "the way already consolidated of our women in competitive sport, because thanks to the tenacity and courage of the pioneers who made their way in the beginning today Spanish athletes are present in all disciplines and lead a large part of them worldwide."