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- Dubai 05:31 06:45 12:35 15:51 18:20 19:34
Spanish tennis player Rafael Nadal revealed that tears fell from his eyes when Lionel Messi led the Argentine national team to crown the FIFA World Cup title.
Even for Nadal, the Real Madrid fan, there was joy in seeing former Barcelona player Messi achieve the greatest destiny in an age when many doubted he could clinch the title.
Messi, 35, was the striking force of the Argentine team in its success in winning the Qatar World Cup.
Messi scored two goals in the final match that was held last Sunday against the French national team, which ended in a 3/3 draw, in addition to scoring a penalty kick in the penalty shootout, to win the Golden Ball award as the best player in the tournament.
For Nadal, who claimed his No. 22 Grand Slam title two days after turning 36 in June, seeing someone else achieve success late in his career is something he appreciates.
Nadal said: "Messi's lifting of the World Cup made me happy. For this wonderful player to be crowned with a missing title of this caliber, with all that it means to Argentina, it seems fair to me."
He added: "I enjoyed it and was affected. Without bias towards Argentina, when Messi scored the third goal, tears fell from my eyes."
And he added, "This was due to the emotion of seeing a great person achieve what he lacked, as he struggled so much to achieve it."
Nadal was also interested in Kylian Mbappe scoring three goals (a hat-trick) for the French national team in the final match that was held at Lusail Stadium, given that Real Madrid was aiming to sign the Paris Saint-Germain striker.
Mbappe refused to play for Real to renew his contract with Saint-Germain in May, but there would be no surprise if he ended up at the Santiago Bernabeu.
The issue of Mbappe was raised, in an interview with “AS”, which chose Nadal as the best athlete of the year.
Asked if he could tolerate Mbappe if he moved to Madrid, Nadal said: "I don't have to forgive Mbappe for anything."
Something, and as a Real Madrid fan, if he can, he can come tomorrow."
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