Real Madrid fans are planning on paying tribute to Rafael Nadal tonight
Nadal will be the centrepiece of an enormous pre-match mosaic at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium.
PSG are the visitors for the first leg of a blockbuster clash in the last 16 of the Champions League.
And Nadal, a 10-time French Open winner at Paris’ Roland Garros venue, is thought to have been to have been chosen to remind the 4,000 visiting fans of the Spaniard’s dominance in their home city.
The fan group Grada Fans RMCF are also said to have organised the display because they believe that Nadal is the very embodiment of “Madridism”.
Rafael Nadal has previously been recognised in front of the crowd at the Bernabeu
Real Madrid fans often use pre-match displays to send a message to players, other fans and the world
The 31-year-old’s portrait will be accompanied by the Spanish phrase “Vamos Real” which roughly translates as “Come on Real!” in English.
It is not the first time Madrid have publicly recognised the achievements of tennis’ world No 1.
An official announcement in March 2016 left fans in no doubt about the level of affection for the player within the club, in the face of accusations of doping from the French sports minister Roselyn Bachelot – the allegations have since been retracted after the ex-politician was sued for defamation.
“Real Madrid C.F. would like to express their full support to our honorary member, Rafa Nadal, undoubtedly one of the greatest sportsmen of all time in Spain and in the world,” a statement read.
“Rafa Nadal represents the fundamental values of sport.
“His greatness and his incredible achievements have always been based upon a foundation of exemplary conduct, unwavering work, talent and astonishing levels of commitment.
“This being the case, our institution considers the attacks made on his person by former minister Roselyne Bachelot to be unjustifiable and unacceptable.
“Real Madrid C.F. consider the close ties to an idol such as Nadal to be an honour, such is his status as a symbol sporting excellence.
“Nadal is admired and adored by millions of fans the world over, and today our club is standing firmly by his side.”
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