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Nadal Takes In A Football Match At Maracana

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Nadal© Joao Pires/FotojumpRafael Nadal visited the famous football stadium at Maracana on Sunday.

World No. 1 Rafael Nadal continued his tour of Rio de Janeiro on Sunday, taking in a football game at the famous stadium at Maracanã a day after visiting Christ the Redeemer, one of the seven New Wonders of the World.

Nadal was the guest of honour at the derby match between Flamengo and Vasco and was invited to do the match kick-off.

“I think it was a very special experience,” said a humbled Nadal. “I’m a big fan of sports, of football, and this is one of the most important stadiums in the world. It has a lot of history and with the renovations it looks very nice. I think that it’s going to be a very special stadium for the World Cup. It was an honour to have the opportunity to do the match kick-off here.”

The Spaniard is competing at the inaugural Rio Open presented by Claro hdtv. He has a 24-2 match record at ATP World Tour tournaments in Latin America, including titles at Costa Do Sauipe and Acapulco in 2005, and last year at Sao Paulo and Acapulco.

Nadal Visits Christ the Redeemer

Nadal watched the match with friend and World No. 42 Juan Monaco. The Argentine was also honoured to be invited. “It's amazing to be here. I had never been to Maracanã before. It’s way bigger than I thought and I am very much looking forward to watching Argentina playing in the World Cup.”

Maracanã will host the 2014 World Cup Final.

Nadal opens his Rio campaign against fellow Spaniard Daniel Gimeno-Traver, while Monaco makes his debut against countryman Horacio Zeballos.

Watch Nadal's Visit (Video courtesy: Rio Open)

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