Rafe won his first Roland Garros in 2005. At that time I was on Cadena Cope and, although there was no It’s Radio, I was already writing in Libertad Digital for 5 years. I’m sure I dedicated an article to him in the newspaper and, although I can’t guarantee it one hundred percent, I would dare to say that I also opened the program with him, I don’t know if the national one on Sunday night or the local one from Monday to midday. His Parisian success was repeated in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and yesterday, that is, 2022, and in all of them I opened the program with him (in the last five already in EsRadio) and I dedicated an article to it, always in Libertad Digital and maybe some in Marca, I don’t remember anymore. It would be difficult to say anything new about Rafa if he had limited his successes to Roland Garros, but in 2009 and this same year he won the Australian Open, at Wimbledon he did it in 2008 and 2010 and in the United States he won in 2010, 2013, 2017 and 2019. If we add to all this that he was a gold medal in 2008, I get twenty-two tournaments of the Grand Slam and an Olympic gold, or what is the same twenty-three (with this one) openings of the program and as many other articles dedicated to him. this noon, in Soccer Radio, Juan Pablo Polvorinos asked us if we were able to say something original about Nadal and William Dominguez, Jaime Ugarte and he himself said no and I hastened to say yes. Well, dear Juan Pablo, I lied, I am not able to contribute anything original about Nadal, it was just a bait so that they would read and listen to me at night.
I do remember, yes, that in one of the twenty-two openings dedicated to Rafa, and it was by no means the most recent, I warned that I had run out of adjectives so that no one would expect anything surprising from me, but it turns out that now I have also run out of nouns, pronouns, verbs and adverbs, prepositions and conjunctions; I have no more morphemes, I have no possessive determiners left, I cannot find exclamatory pronouns, I have run out of verbal periphrases, there are not so many adverbial phrases or subordinating conjunctions. In short, Rafa Nadal has left us all speechless, which is the only way we journalists have to tie a reality to, as far as possible, try to embellish it and explain it to others. No embellishment possible, there is no explanation, Nadal has exhausted our grammar, even the brown one. It is probable that the word that we have used the most times has been “Thank you”, also through social networks, via Twitter, Instagram, on the radio, on TV, in the written press, even on TikTok. We have thanked Rafa many times in Spanish because we consider him one of our own, an improved version of the image that Spain conveys abroad, but they have also thanked him in English, French, Russian or Chinese because Nadal has gone from to be a Spanish and world sports star to become a concept, a thought that long ago surpassed the dimensions of a tennis court, jumped over the Philippe Chattier and it became an idea, and not just any idea but a really inspiring one.
It is so, Nadal inspires us. Well, probably not anymore because, as I was saying, I ran out of words, but it has been, it is being inspiring for several generations. In these times that we have had to live, those that are completely easy, all fast and all simple, Rafa is an idea for the future, one for the youngest. What Nadal is basically telling us (what he is fundamentally telling the new generations) is that nothing is free, that everything costs, that effort ennobles and that you have to keep trying despite everything. Yes, there is a word that Rafa has made fashionable and that we have recently known has tormented him for years, and it is the word scaphoid, the navicular bone, a small bone element that is located in the tarsal area of the foot and that causes unbearable pain against which it must also compete. The other day Pau Gasol, who is the other Spanish athlete who has left us speechless, received the Grand Cross of the Royal Order of Sports Merit. He is such a good person Pau that, moved, he began to cry for all the love he has received. Like Gasol, Rafael Nadal has also exhausted my lexicon and the only thing that comes to mind is something as unoriginal as giving him the Thank you. Thanks, too, for showing off Spain, another thing that’s getting difficult lately. It’s not original, I know, but it’s sincere. Thank you for being the way you are, Rafa, and I hope that within a year, God willing, you will force me to have to dedicate an article to you or the comment at the beginning of the program again. Thank you thank you thank you. Thank you for exhausting all the words.