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Nadal praises 'amazing' Messi and Ronaldo

ESPN staff
March 18, 2013
Rafael Nadal is back on the up following his win at Indian Wells © AP

Rafael Nadal has spoken of his admiration for football superstars Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, claiming their rivalry is spurring each other on to greater heights.

After securing his 18th win in his last 19 matches since his return from injury, Nadal is taking a breather from tennis ahead of a tilt at another Monte Carlo title next month.

It is unlikely Nadal will drift too far from his chosen sports but he may have half an eye on his other passions: football and golf.

Barcelona great Messi has been crowned World Footballer of the Year ahead of Real Madrid superstar Ronaldo for the past four years, but both are way ahead of the pack in terms of talent. And Nadal has heaped praise on both for the way they conduct themselves.

"I admire a lot of people outside tennis," Nadal is quoted as saying on SI.com. "Especially I admire the people who really are, you know, helping the others in the right way.

"If we are talking about sports, Messi and Cristiano are amazing at what they are doing. This rivalry is, you know, brings football to another level in my opinion. Every season they are improving their numbers. That's something amazing."

Nadal is an avid golfer and he has been impressed with the way Tiger Woods has battled back from injury and personal troubles to get back to the top of the game

He said: "He really is focused on what he is doing, and he really believes that he is going to make the right shot in important moments. That's something. His determination in important moments is something difficult to have, and he has [it]. I admire that a lot.

"His eyes, mentality when he's playing, when he's competing is, you know, [it's] very, very difficult to say I cannot admire this mentality on a golf course and on the competition."

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