By John Smith • 04 December 2020 • 14:10
Rafa with President Isabel Diaz Ayuso
ALTHOUGH the decision to award five-time Mutua Madrid Open champion Rafael Nadal with Madrid’s highest honour the Grand Cross of the Order of the Second of May was made in November, it was only recently that he was able to travel there to collect it.
Reportedly, he broke off from a short Caribbean holiday with his wife and sister to fly to Madrid where he was officially presented with the Grand Cross by the President of the Madrid Community Isabel Diaz Ayuso on behalf of the governing council on December 3.
She praised him, saying “We have before us the greatest sportsman of all time, with values such as humility, effort, discipline and respect for rivals.”
He is just the second tennis player, after Manolo Santana to receive this award and he accepted it with pride and thanked the people of Madrid for the honour.
Rafa poses after the awardCredit: Rafael Nadal Instagram
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Married to Ophelia in Gibraltar in 1978, John has spent much of his life travelling on security print and minting business and visited every continent except Antarctica.
Having retired several years ago, the couple moved to their house in Estepona and John became a regular news writer for the EWN Media Group taking particular interest in Finance, Gibraltar and Costa del Sol Social Scene.
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