Rafalint: Oct 16th

Photo by Beth Wilson

Photo by Beth Wilson

Two tasty bits floating around today.

1. Rafa has been included in Forbes Magazine’s “America’s Most-Liked Sports Figures”. He’s the only non-American on the list. Here’s his entry in the list.

Percent Like: 68%
People see him as: Exciting, handsome, emotional

The 23-year-old Spaniard, who’s already got six Grand Slam titles and an Olympic gold medal under his belt, has recently vaulted into the limelight on the back of a growing rivalry with Roger Federer.

2. In this article, the author points out how differently Rafa comes across in English and Spanish. It’s an interesting comparison.

Reporter: “Considering your injury and everything, you still have possibility that you could end the year number one if things go very well. If you had a choice, what would it be, to become number one
again by the end of the year or to win the Davis Cup?

“It’s a difficult question to answer. To finish the year number one I win here, win Paris and win almost the Masters Cup. It’s impossible to think about that.

“I think it is easier to think about winning the Davis Cup final. I am more ready to play the Davis Cup final than the other things.”

Later when asked of the same thing in Spanish the answer was very different.

“Por ahora, numero uno ya no existe&.”

“For me, at the moment, number one doesn’t exist. I can’t even think about it – it is more realistic to stay at number two. I have been in the top two for the past five years..”.

But I do agree that a big part of the difference might be this:

Additionally, perhaps he knows that whatever he says to the world’s media will instantly be splashed all of the pages of every media outlet possible – in the most sensationalised way.

Whereas the Spanish media, who have a close relationship with Nadal and interview him more than anyone else, will perhaps take a more circumspect approach to the sound bites he offers.

A private person who likes to avoid controversy will speak cautiously in his native tongue. In a language he’s not comfortable in? Where he knows the probability of his intention not coming across properly is high? Very cautious. Very, very cautious.

9 Responses

  1. Diane says:

    I’m particularly pleased that Rafa is higher on the list than Tiger. Not that I don’t like Tiger, but . . . Rafa I like more. Much more. Snootchie boochies, baby!

  2. Atch2 says:

    Rafa’s you’re no.1 in our rankings. But great that Americans now acknowledge that they like u too and the only non-American! U think the shirt changes influenced them in any way?

    The language can sometimes be a barrier but Rafa handles it. The Eng and Spanish answers are not always exactly the same but they never contradict. And the more reason why I want to learn Spanish to understand him in his native language.

  3. CC says:

    This is sooo interesting and the fact that he’s more cautious when speaking in English is obvious and completely understandable for the reasons stated in the article.
    Having English as a second language I sometimes find it difficult to communicate in professional situations, as you don’t want to be “misunderstood” or misuse words. I can understand Rafa being cautious.
    Learning new words and what they mean is not difficult, but learning the appropriate way of using a word really is. It takes a long time. I think Rafa’s done so well with his English and I’m full of admiration for him.

  4. mary says:

    Good to see the yanks are finally getting things right. He, he!!!!!!
    Now the ozzies got to get their act together. :) ;)

  5. An says:

    O: the pic on his entry list is the same as i had as a background on my computer all summer long, taken on the Hurlingham exhibition, just before whitdrawing from Wimbly… I can see his pain in his eyes here.. its a beatifull pic, but i was so glad to replace in the end with pics off that interview announcing his comeback, much more happy eyes!!

  6. nic says:

    Hhmmm, he only had a 10% awareness amongst a nationally representative sample of Americans. So he’s still very low on the general radar. That’s a really interesting stat to put things into perspective. But then again, I wonder in terms of sports, what kind of % interest tennis has vs. other sports. But it’s cool that within that small group of people who know who Rafa is, they mostly believe him to be handsome :D exciting :D emotional :D

  7. sia says:

    Ha ha Diane,
    ‘snootchie boochies’ is often how I feel about Rafa too … ha aha.

  8. Lele says:

    It sounds more cautious in Spanish to me. He doesn’t even think about it in Spanish, while he considers it and disregards it in English

  9. faeaki 7 says:

    Congrats Rafa, tennis isn’t so big in US nowadays so 68% is good. I read this before but not the spanish one, thats interesting, yep definately more cautious with the foreign media..in English.