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Soccer-Rafa Nadal becomes shareholder at troubled Real Mallorca, Reuters

Soccer-Rafa Nadal becomes shareholder at troubled Real Mallorca

MADRID, July 8 (Reuters) - Tennis world number one Rafa Nadal has become a shareholder at financially troubled Real Mallorca, the Spanish league side said on Thursday.

“It’s an honour to be able to help Real Mallorca, I will help in any way I can,” Wimbledon champion Nadal was quoted as saying on the club website (www.rcdmallorca.com).

“I am proud to be a part of this new project put together by Mallorca locals. I am very pleased to have (Michael) Laudrup as the new coach and as the image for the club.”

Nadal, a Real Madrid fan, was born and lives in Manacor on the Mediterranean island.

His uncle Miguel Angel Nadal, the former Barcelona and Spain defender, will be number two to Laudrup, who was appointed to replace Gregorio Manzano last week.

Mallorca are struggling with debts of up to 85 million euros ($104 million), are in voluntary administration, and have just been taken over by a consortium led by a former coach Llorenc Serra Ferrer.

They finished fifth in La Liga last May earning a place in next season’s Europa League.

Writing by Mark Elkington; Editing by Alastair Himmer; To query or comment on this story email sportsfeedback@thomsonreuters.com

All quotes delayed a minimum of 15 minutes. See here for a complete list of exchanges and delays.

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What if Rafael Nadal had picked soccer, For The Win

What if Rafael Nadal had picked soccer? It's FTW's final day of "Fun With Hypotheticals."

(BNP Paribas Open)

When he was a precocious 12-year-old on the Spanish island of Mallorca, Rafael Nadal had to make a decision that millions of kids around the world have made at some point: Which sport to focus on exclusively. In Nadal’s case, which was a little different than most kids’, as he was top-notch in both, it came down to soccer or tennis. And this was no flighty hypothetical of a tennis prodigy dabbling in another sport. Nadal was a “promising striker” as Christopher Clarey called him in a 2005 New York Times article and had soccer run deep in the family, with his uncle Miguel Angel Nadal starring in three World Cups and playing for Barcelona, among other clubs. His father said Rafa could have been a fine professional footballer.

Nadal himself said it was the toughest decision he ever made, but he knew “tennis was the game at which I excelled, even if I enjoyed football as much, or more,” as he wrote in his autobiography, Nadal. But he didn’t look back, writing that when he watched interviews of himself winning the 14-and-under Spanish championship at the age of 12 he heard his younger self say “I enjoy football, but that’s for fun.” It was then he knew he had made the only call there was to make.

Let’s go back to 2004! Rafael #Nadal controls the ball during a UN soccer Match Against Poverty. #football pic.twitter.com/4eJkHqEj

— Rafael Nadal Fans (@RafaelNadalFC) July 22, 2012

But, for the sake of a fun Friday argument, let’s say he didn’t. Let’s say Nadal said “adios” to tennis and became a fine soccer player instead. What would the landscape of tennis look like today? A whole lot different, that’s for certain.

1. Roger Federer would have put his Grand Slam and No. 1 records so far out of reach that no one would have touched them.

(USA TODAY Sports Images)

Nadal defeated Federer in six Grand Slams finals, including in four at the French and in one semifinal at Roland Garros. So if Rafael Nadal didn’t exist, Roger Federer wouldn’t just be the undisputed greatest player of all time, but one of the greatest clay-court players too. But with Nadal in the picture, he was always a bridesmaid at the French Open until Robin Soderling did the dirty work in 2009 and Federer was able to defeat the Kingslayer in the final. In all, Nadal beat Federer in three Slam semifinals, two of which would have led to finals in which Federer was the favorite. That’s nine Grand Slams where Nadal was directly involved with Federer’s exist. Let’s say Federer wins eight of those (all the finals and the finals after winning two of those three semifinals), giving him 25 Slams total, almost double the record of Pete Sampras. And though it’s impossible to say how many more weeks he’d have been No. 1, a conservative estimate is 100, which means Federer would have been ranked atop the ATP for almost eight years.

While he’d be the biggest beneficiary of Nadal, the soccer star, there’s another player who would have benefitted too.

2. Novak Djokovic might be considered the second-best player in history.

Maybe that will actually be the case one day, but the Djoker might have already achieved that level if not for Nadal. Djokovic has lost five Grand Slam finals to Nadal, including two at the French Open. He also lost that classic 2013 semifinal, which would have led to a final in which Djokovic would have been heavily favored over No. 4 David Ferrer. So, that’s six Grand Slams during Djokovic’s prime in which Nadal got the best of him. That would give Djokovic 14 majors, tied with Pete Sampras (and where Nadal is right now), so the all-time non-Nadal tally might look like this:

1. Roger Federer (25)/2. Novak Djokovic (14)/2. Pete Sampras (14)

And don’t forget those top two would still be “… and counting.”

3. Maybe there wouldn’t have been as much of a Big Two (or three, if you want to get generous and add Andy Murray).

Prior to the 2014 Australian Open, there was the unfathomable stat that the Big Three (Federer, Nadal and Djokovic) had won 32 of 35 Grand Slams. We’ve divided 13 of those 14 of Nadal wins to Federer (8) and Djokovic (5). But perhaps the loss of Nadal opens up the door for someone else — say David Ferrer, for instance — to steal a Slam or two because he hadn’t lost to Nadal in the early rounds. That operates under the assumption that it’s mostly unfathomable to just give Federer and Djokovic 13 of Nadal’s 14 Slams. Then again, that 32 of 35 stat is too crazy to ignore. It’s probably somewhere in the middle. Without Nadal, Federer and Djokovic would have cleaned up, but maybe the sport would have been more egalitarian in its Grand Slam distribution.

Chris Chase

Chris Chase wrote for FTW from 2013-16. He likes tennis and Bob Dylan more than you do, unless you're a huge tennis or Dylan fan -- then he probably likes them about the same.

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The Spanish youngster was a two-sport star.

Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal Could Have Played Soccer Instead of Tennis, Says Billy Jean King: TENNIS

Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal Could Have Played Soccer Instead of Tennis, Says Billy Jean King

The legendary figure in women's tennis, 72-year-old Billie Jean King set the bar in tennis with her 39 grand slam titles. While she looks on to the tennis heroes of today, she is still active in giving her opinion about the current situation of tennis.

  • By Ernest Hernandez | Sep 06, 2016 07:35 PM EDT

The legendary figure in women's tennis, 72-year-old Billie Jean King set the bar in tennis with her 39 grand slam titles. While she looks on to the tennis heroes of today, she is still active in giving her opinion about the current situation of tennis.

Now, King sees that Roger Federer struggle with his injuries and is losing the ability to close out long games. Nonetheless, she is just happy to see the 35-year-old Swiss tennis player still active in the sport and still hoping for a comeback.

"I hope he's back. I don't even care if he wins anymore," said King. "He's just so beautiful to watch.

King believes that Federer could have called it quits but she can't imagine him giving up Tennis that easily.

"He's a guy who really has a passion to play," King said. "Most guys would've quit by now because they made all that money and they've got all this fame. He's one player who is going to really miss playing. He loves it."

She also expressed that Federer's athleticism could have been good in other sports. Together with Rafael Nadal, both tennis legends could have been played soccer really well. Fans should be grateful, according to King, that they were able to see them battle each other in the same era.

"We're lucky to have him - he and Nadal went to tennis and not soccer," she said. "Can you imagine if they both had decided to play soccer?"

The Federer-Nadal rivalry is dubbed as the best in the history of tennis with 31 Grand Slam Championships between them. Nadal may have more wins between their head-to-head matchup at 23-11 but Federer took more Grand Slam Championships with 17.

Federer withdrew from contention in the 2016 U.S. Open for the first time since 1999 due to injuries and is expected to comeback for the Australian Open in January next year.

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Nadal soccer tennis - Yahoo Search Results

Yahoo Web Search Rafael Nadal - Wikipedia

Early life. Rafael Nadal was born in Manacor, Balearic Islands, Spain. His father, Sebastián Nadal, is a businessman who owns an insurance company and a glass and .

U.S. Open tennis 2017: Rafael Nadal beats . - Sporting News

Rafael Nadal dominated against Kevin Anderson to finish off his 2017 Slam season with two Grand Slam titles.

Tennis on Yahoo! Sports - News, Scores, Standings, Rumors .

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Rafael Nadal Stats, News, Pictures, Bio, Videos - ESPN

Get the latest news, stats, videos, and more about tennis player Rafael Nadal on ESPN.com.

Rafael Nadal wins US Open, tennis players react | SI.com

Here's how the tennis world is reacting to Rafael Nadal's U.S. Open victory.

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Rafael Nadal live scores, results, fixtures | FlashScore.com .

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For Laver Cup, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal Are on the Same .

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Rafael nadal soccer team - Soccer Blog

Soccer Blog Rafael nadal soccer team

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