The list of achievements keeps getting longer for Rafael Nadal. As announced on Tuesday, the government has awarded him the Grand Cross of the Royal Order of Sports Merit.
"He has 20 Grand Slams, he won a gold medal at the Olympics both individually and in the doubles, he is a five-time Davis Cup champion, thirteen-time Roland Garros winner and we are honoured to give him this distinction, not only for his sporting achievements, but also for embodying the values we want to pass on to our young people," said government spokesperson María Jesús Montero.
Considered Spain's top sporting award, Nadal joins an illustrious list. The last to receive it, posthumously, was skier Blanca Fernández Ochoa, who died in 2019. Before that, it was awarded to footballers such as Andrés Iniesta, Xavi, Iker Casillas, Vicente del Bosque, Alfredo di Stéfano, Ladislao Kubala and Paco Gento; gymnast Gervasio Deferr and canoeist David Cal.