uncle toni

Toni The Other Nadal


Toni, the 'other' Nadal

In the IB3 TV documentary, Rafa, Toni's family, pupils and friends assert that the coach captivates more with his words than his actions.


"What I like best about all of this, best of all, is that an uncle and his nephew have conquered so much, everything, in a world where professionalism is so marked. That seems absolutely splendid to me, very nice, great," Pep Guardiola declares in the documentary Mestre Toni, which IB3 TV is to show tomorrow (Mar 1st), about Toni Nadal, Rafa's uncle and coach. In it appear the number one, his family, friends, ex-pupils of the mestre and, yes, Barça's manager, who has specially consented to being interviewed to speak about someone he admires: "I don't just admire him but I also steal many of his messages, ideas I try to make my own and pass on to my players every day."

In the documentary, directed by David J. Nadal, what comes over is Toni Nadal's personality."I like that way he has of keeping himself in the background," Guardiola goes on explaining. "And that he doesn't disclose how he trains Rafa. I like the way he defends the figure of the coach, and the firm way he does it, that he puts the sportsman in his place," he says. Guardiola emphasizes the importance Toni has given to education in the formation of his pupil: "Rafa has learned, and taken in, that you can win or lose, but you should never give up a model style of behaviour. That is to say, there are more important things than winning or losing."

Rafael and Isabel, Toni's parents, assure us that the coach has reached where he set out to be. "His mental preparation, in that respect, was and is colossal. He analyzes everything, filters it through his brain and acts decisively," says his father. "He's a little absentminded, or too much so," his mother remarks.

Everbody, even Toni himself, admits that, in the early days, he was very strict with Rafa. "If I could go back and begin again with him, I wouldn't be so strict," declares Toni. "I think my brother Miguel Angel, who used to play tennis, switched to football because he couldn't put up with Toni's discipline," says Sebastian, Rafa's father.

Jofre Porta, a friend of his and also a tennis coach, declares: "Toni is a real genius, in the Johan Cruyff class. I think the best praise that can be given him is that he's the best educator of sportsmen I've ever seen. You don't have to look further than how he made Rafa change from playing (his forehand) two-handed to one-handed. 'Does anybody in the Top10 play two-handed? No, well you're not going to be the first one,' he said... and, of course, he convinced him."

"The day Rafa gives up (tennis), Toni will give it up," says his wife Joana Maria Vives. "He has it all thought out. He likes to use words to convince, more than action," she added. To that effect, Guardiola joked: "And he's a Barça supporter. He's great! Shame he hasn't managed to bring out the Barça streak in Rafa, I know it's bound to be there. Though there's still time, isn't there?"

How does Rafa define his uncle? He has a good think about it and says with utter conviction: "Different."

source: cordobasports

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