The 36-year-old Spaniard is widely regarded as one of the best players to have graced the sport, winning a record 22 Majors. More notably, Nadal is renowned for his mental strength and ability to bounce back from injuries. The left-hander has had multiple injuries this year but has lost just thrice in 38 matches, winning four titles, including two Grand Slams.
The Argentine midfielder was officially unveiled by Sao Paulo on Wednesday. In the press conference, the 23-year-old Galoppo talked about why he likes tennis superstar Nadal. Galopo said that he draws inspiration from Nadal’s ability to bounce back from injuries, having recovered from a long injury layoff:
“Nadal is very important. I like him a lot because I see his ability to recover from mistakes, mental strength, and that is something that helps one to make a path. At the time I had a long injury that I was able to overcome, and that is why I feel identified, I feel very strong, and it is a great inspiration that I continue to see day by day.”
The 23-year-old has signed a contract with Sao Paulo that would keep him at the Brazilian club until 2026.
Rafael Nadal’s 2022 campaign so far
Rafael Nadal has had a superb 2022 campaign, making a 20-0 start to the season, which included title triumphs at the Melbourne Summer Set, Australian Open and Mexican Open. His win at the Australian Open made Nadal the first male player to win 21 Majors as he joined Novak Djokovic to become the only players to achieve a double career Grand Slam.
The Spaniard’s perfect start to the year was ended by Taylor Fritz in the Indian Wells final. During the tournament, Nadal sustained a rib fracture that forced him to make a belated start to his claycourt campaign.
After missing tournaments in Monte-Carlo and Barcelona, the 36-year-old, plagued by a foot injury, endured early defeats in Madrid and Rome. However, he hit top form at Roland Garros, dethroning defending champion Djokovic in the quarterfinals before beating Casper Ruud to win a record-extending 14th title.
Playing a competitive match on grass for the first time in three years, Nadal then reached a third-straight Wimbledon semifinal. However, an abdominal tear sustained in his five-set quarterfinal win over Fritz forced him to withdraw from a blockbuster last-four clash with Nick Kyrgios.
The Spaniard is expected to return to action in North American hardcourt Masters events in Toronto and Cincinnati leading up to the US Open, where he’ll look to win a fifth title.