Rafa Nadal: "I don't want Catalunya to become independent"
Rafa Nadal would 'not want to see Catalunya become independent' and says corrupt politicians should be removed from their seats.
Speaking at a press conference organised by Sabadell bank, Rafa, from Manacor - famous for its pearl factories - said he has close ties with the north-eastern region and would 'accept' its seceding from Spain, but would not be happy about it.
"I do sympathise with the pro-independence side; nobody could think I'm on the 'ultra-Spanish' side. I'm from Mallorca, and I speak the same language as Catalunya does," Nadal stated.
The Balearic Islands' three regional tongues - Mallorquín, Menorquín and Ibicuenco - take their roots from Catalán, and the interview with Rafa was conducted entirely in Mallorquín.
"I have two flats in Barcelona and I feel very close to Catalunya, but I don't understand why there's such a problem and so much confrontation.
"Everyone should be free to feel whatever they want; if I want something, it doesn't mean I hate those who are against it.
"For my part, as a Spaniard and a Balearic, I would not like Catalunya to be an independent nation. I want it to remain within the State, within Spanish territory, because I've always experienced it this way. I can't see and I wouldn't like it otherwise.
"I love Catalunya, Spain and the Balearics; I consider they are all one and the same and would like it to continue this way; but if the opposite happened, I'd accept it."
Inevitably, in a discussion on political issues and current affairs, Nadal was asked for his views on the corruption cases which have been reported and the high-ranking current and former politicians and tycoons being questioned.
"I see corruption in the same way as everyone does, I think it's equally as bad as anyone else would - even from my own position as someone whose life is going very well and who is far less frustrated than those who struggle to make it to the end of the month on a very tight salary," the sports star admitted.
"Political leaders need to stop these people who are cheating on the public and are not doing the job they're supposed to be doing to improve the country. Political parties need to improve because, often, they do as much as they can to stay in government instead of doing what's necessary for the country.
"We have problems, it's true, but we're not the only country in the world. Other countries, which have always been a serious role model, also have their corrupt figureheads and their cheats, but they don't advertise the fact.
"We need to solve our problems and sell ourselves as the great nation we are, because this is what inspires confidence abroad."
Rafa Nadal scooped up his first Masters 1000 title in nearly two years on Sunday in Monte Carlo, and his first tournament victory in a year and a half, having been battling against injuries leaving his one-time nearly unbeatable play well below par.
With eight consecutive Monte Carlo wins up to and including the year 2012, Rafa fell to the current world number one, Serbia's Novak Djokovic, in 2013, and had not won the title since until this weekend saw him net his ninth trophy in the principality after a 7-5, 5-7, 6-0 win against France's Gaël Monfils in the final.
Source: Think Spain
Photo: Banc Sabadell