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Tennis superstar Rafael Nadal: “I think I’d like to be Real Madrid president”

The 22-time major champion has spoken of his love for Los Blancos and given his thoughts on a possible move for Kylian Mbappé.

Nadal y Florentino Pérez en el palco del Santiago Bernabéu.
Juan Carlos HidalgoEFE

Rafael Nadal will go down as one of tennis’ all-time greatest players having won a record 14 French Open titles and 22 Grand Slam men’s singles titles, second only to recent US Open winner Novak Djokovic. The Spaniard, however, is also a huge soccer and, specifically, Real Madrid fan, despite hailing from the island of Mallorca and the fact that his uncle, Miguel Ángel Nadal, played more than 200 league games for Barcelona in the 1990s.

In a wide-ranging interview with Spanish broadcaster Movistar Plus+, the 37-year-old again stated 2024 may or may not be his final season on tour, spoke about living in constant pain and revealed that he would likely make a decision on his immediate future in November.

An eye-catching section of the interview also saw him asked about his love of Real Madrid, who he has been spotted following from time to time when not competing in tournaments around the world, including on Sunday as Los Merengues took on Real Sociedad at the Santiago Bernabéu.

Grand Slam champion turned Madrid president?

When asked whether he would like to become president of the 14-time European champions, it initially seemed as if Nadal would be fairly dismissive of the suggestion, although as his response went on, it became clear that it’s an idea he has given serious thought to.

“I don’t know. I promise that it’s not always been a dream of mine. But if you ask me if I’d like to be Real Madrid president, I think I would. But first of all, we’ve got the best possible president at the moment. On top of that, how I feel today might not be how I feel tomorrow. And then you never know what can happen in life. You have to know if you’re capable of doing that type of thing. I’m quite realistic with myself, I more or less know my limitations. I don’t know if I’d be capable of doing it or not. Anyway, time will tell”.

Nadal wants PSG star Mbappé at Real Madrid

The Mallorca native may not be about to become Real Madrid president in the immediate future, which means it appears unlikely he’ll be involved as Los Blancos look to take long-time target Kylian Mbappé to the Spanish capital. Nadal, however, is really keen to see it happen. Game recognises game.

“Would another forward be welcome right now? I think so but…I want Mbappé to come, I don’t have any problem with that at all, quite the opposite. I’d be happy if he came! Of course I like Mbappé, who doesn’t like Mbappé? He didn’t have any obligation to come before. Real Madrid is Real Madrid and is bigger than any other player. But Mbappé doesn’t have any obligation to come when us fans want him to come”.