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Nadal: "Thank you for this award during these difficult times"

The tennis star received the AS Solidarity in Sport award along with Pau Gasol, and gave a special mention for all of those who have suffered during the pandemic.

Nadal: "Thank you for this award during these difficult times"

Rafa Nadal, an idol who is always in demand whenever he is passing through Madrid, found time during his packed agenda to attend Thursday's AS Awards gala held in the ballroom at the city's Royal Theatre. The tennis star fully deserved recognition for everything he has done both on and off the court. Only recently, he won his 13th Roland Garros title and equalled the Men's record of 20 Grand Slam titles which he now shares with Roger Federer. Apart from that,  together with Pau Gasol he also organised a campaig(#NuestraMejorVictoria) in support of the Red Cross Response initiative, which has already helped almost three million people in vulnerable situations as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Nadal and Gasol - support for the Red Cross

Gasol joined Rafa, via video-link from Los Angeles, to jointly accept the award, designed by Mariscal and presented by Bank of Santander CEO Rami Aboukhair. "It has been - and continues to be a very difficult time for everyone," Nadal told AS TV on arrival at the Teatro Real. "We were deliberating over what we could do to help, but we didn't know where to start seeing as this was a completely new situation for all of us. One day I was speaking to Pau and we agreed to join a project set up by the Red Cross which we liked right from the start. After that, a lot of other people joined forces with us anfortunately it was a great success and was able to raise quite a lot of money".

He later gave an acceptance speech“Thank you very much to AS for this recognition during a very difficult moment. Anyway, I think we should be proud of Spanish sport, of what we have achieved to be able to form a united family which is able to contribute our own small grain of sand from the privileged position we are in because for who we are, we can set a good example for society. I think that was the main objective. I would like to thank AS and all of the media during these difficult times for continuing to report our successes, and defeats - and for being with us through all of this. I hope we will be able to see each other in a different way as soon as possible, when this terrible situation passes. My best wishes to all of those who are in the thick of the action as well as those who have suffered the pandemic at first hand - above all, those who have lost loved ones which is the most difficult to come to terms with in this current situation. Also to those who have been struggling economically to go forward”.

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Recognition by the Community of Madrid

Earlier on Thursday, Nadal had been awarded the Grand Cross of the Order of 12 May by president of the Community of Madrid Isabel Díaz Ayuso in Puerta de Sol: “This city, which I feel very close to, has always supported sport,” he said. It is the fifth time that Rafa has attended the AS Awards ceremony to pick up a award but he could easily have been a recipient every year. Later on Thursday, he was a guest of Pablo Motos on El Hormiguero


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