(AP) – A longtime Real Madrid supporter, Rafael Nadal appeared with a Atletico Madrid jersey during the club’s Europa League match against Arsenal last week, making headlines across Spain and attracting a wave of social media reactions from fans from both teams.
Rafa couldn’t avoid the issue when he arrived in the Spanish capital for this week’s Madrid Open.
Well, there is a problem with today’s society, that to be a true supporter of one team, it seems that you have to be anti another team. I just support Real Madrid. I have a lot of friends that are from Atletico. They are playing in a competition in Europe against an English team. I just went there to support Atletico Madrid. They invited me. I just wanted to enjoy the day, to see a great football match.
Rafa was captured on camera with the jersey around his neck during the team’s 1-0 win at Wanda Metropolitano Stadium on Thursday, a result that allowed Atletico to reach the final of Europe’s second-tiered club competition.
The (club’s) president gave me a T-shirt as a gift. At night it was a little bit chilly, a little bit cold, and I just used it as a scarf. That’s all. But it’s always the same stuff. Maybe there’s too much hypocrisy, or I would say you people in the media have to write too many things, so you have to explore some stupid things.
Rafa also discussed Sunday’s “clasico” between Barcelona and Real Madrid, which ended in a 2-2 draw after several questionable calls made by the officiating crew at Camp Nou Stadium.
I don’t have to talk about football referees. The poor referee will have a lot on his back because you have been speaking about them for hours and hours. I’m not going to contribute to that show. I think it was a great football match, nice to see. I really enjoyed the football.
Rafa said he favors after-game sanctions to try to make the referees’ life easier.
“Maybe I am very passionate about football, and I’m not criticizing football. But at the end of the day, the referees have a very hard job. It’s very difficult to make decisions when you are under pressure. There are sometimes many players that try to trick other players … It’s just a show.
Rafa! The French Open is around the corner
Can you do it?
We on the HawIian Islands 🌴 are pulling for you!
As I wrote on May 4, I found no reason for Rafa not being able to support another Spanish football team.
To think the media wouldn’t pick up on the social-media brouhaha caused by football fans on both sides of the aisle is folly.
To think the media wouldn’t ask Rafa [a world class athelete, a worldwide known tennis star, the world No. 1 tennis player] about it is even sillier. In every article I read not one was critical of Rafa. In fact, several articles have Rafa’s presence at the game as the push that gave Atletico the win. Rafa’s relationship with the media has always been fraught with anxiety.
Rafa could easily have avoided the media’s questions on the subject by addressing his fans on social media. He has accounts on FB, Twitter, IG, and one or two more. I feel in this instance to insult the media was not warranted.
And I’m still wondering where his publicist is on this one. He did nothing to protect Rafa, from what I can see.
I just hope all will be forgotten by tomorrow, Rafa’s first match.
True true Rafa, it is up to you decide how you will wear your clothes and not up to the forever criticizing press making molehills into mountains.
Well said Rafa.
all the best for tomorrows match against Gaels,
Love and prayers,
Broad minded versus narrow minded.This is a perfect example.Rafa is the perfect 👌 exemplar of broadmindiness.He is just brilliant.So Happy Rafa is in our world 🌍 We need more people like Rafa. Vamos Rafa .👍🏼
I agree with Rafa.. people have to always be critical of everything! So ridiculous!
Vamossssssss Rafa we support you .
The press are making something out of nothing as usual. Well said Rafa. That should silence them.
Great one Rafa &
wearing Madrid Jersey great one 👍😍👀keep safe 4 tennis 🎾 Gold Coast Australia 🇦🇺 Sent from my iPhone
Not only is Rafa a great athlete but he is also a very decent person who treats others with respect. He is also very sane. All things that drive the press and troublemakers crazy. Vamos Rafa! I love the way he stands up for decency and kindness.
Vamos Rafa <3
Absolutely elementary. Rafa is once more the most correct person on the planet. How stupid all the criticism is.
Wamos Rafa you are the best sportperson!
Rafa sees the big picture as usual . I totally agree re supporting a particular team but not being anti other teams . Sport is sport but too many do not understand the true spirit of sport .
Wise and wonderful Rafa . Naturally he likes to see any Spanish team doing well .
A lot of so called sport fans can learn from him .
Wishing him continued success in Madrid 👍🍀⚽️🎾
Elizabeth, You expressed that so well. I am so sad that Rafa received criticism for just enjoying a game while supporting his country too. I wish we could all take to heart that you can support your team while not disliking others. That is so true in tennis as well. I am so tired of seeing fans of other players never saying a good thing about Rafa. Sadly, there are some Rafa fans who do that too. Rafa treats all of his opponents with respect.