Nadal receives Marca´s "Legend Award"
Today in Madrid
, Rafa received the "Legend Award
" at Marca's
75th anniversary gala. Marca's readers had voted him the best Spanish athlete of all-time by quite a margin - he won 25.6% of the votes. Miguel Indurain (five-time Tour de France winner) finished second with 11.6%, while NBA star Pau Gasol came in third with 8.6%.
Nadal, who has won 13 Grand Slams, picked up his award in person. Back in 2007 he received a MARCA Leyenda award, but this one puts him up above the rest. On the stage of the Callao cinema in Madrid, as well as Rafa Nadal, many great figures in the history of Spanish sport also attended. Among them were Miguel Induraín, Federico Martín Bahamontes, Manolo Santana and Ángel Nieto.
Mention was also made of the champions that are sadly no longer with us; such as Ricardo Zamora, Telmo Zarra, Pedro Carrasco, Antonio Díaz Miguel, Severiano Ballesteros... the 75th Anniversary Gala was a celebration of Spanish sport's best athletes throughout history.
The ATP translates part of Rafa's acceptance speech to: "I would like to thank everyone behind me and all those who aren't here tonight because as well as tennis, I'm mad about sport in general. I have had some unforgettable afternoons thanks to all those who have taken Spain to the highest level in sport. Thank you so much because that excitement is what makes sport feel different." Gasol the professional basketball player and Nadal´s good friend , who attended the all-Spanish final between Nadal and David Ferrer at Roland Garros this year, sent a video message congratulating his countryman. "I want to send a special tribute to my friend Rafa for winning this 75th Anniversary MARCA 'Leyenda' award," he said. "Congratulations, enjoy it, you're the best."