Rafael Nadal spoke to the press about being a father in Chile. | ELVIS GONZALEZ


Rafa Nadal is currently on an exhibition tour in South America but he is keeping a close eye on his new baby son and the World Cup.

He told a press conference that he is just a “regular father” who is enjoying very moment with his newborn son.
The 22-time Grand Slam winner and his wife Xisca Perello became first-time parents on October 8 after Perello gave birth in Palma.

The new parents have given very little info about their bundle of joy with Nadal taking to Twitter to thank fans for their messages of support before adding: “We are very happy and everyone is very well.”

Nadal was asked about life with a newborn baby during his exhibition tour of Latin America and replied: “I am more tired as I am sleeping less than before.

“Of course there’s a new concern in my life different from everything I have experienced until now.
“I am living naturally, I’m a regular father who experiences emotions and happiness, trying to enjoy every moment spent with my son.”

Nadal spent several weeks at home following the birth of his son as he only returned to action at the beginning of November for the Paris Masters, but he lost his opening match.

He then took part in the ATP Finals and also lost his first two matches in the round-robin phase before beating Casper Ruud in his final match of the tournament.

After the match he joked that he had finally broken his duck after becoming a parent.
I’ve lost three straight, I won as a father,” he said.

Once he has finished his tour of South America, he will be back in Mallorca but not for too long as he will be travelling to Australia at the end of December.

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I’m going to be back home and try to enjoy little bit the fact that I will be home for a while, family and work. Well, work? For me is not work, is practice. Just practice, try to make the right plan to be able to stay healthy enough and to stay ready for the beginning of the next season,” he said.

“How early will I go to Australia? I can’t tell you yet because, as you can imagine now, my life changed a little bit. I don’t make unilateral decisions (smiling). I need to check a little bit.”

And, Nadal knows all about resilience in sport and the 22-times Grand Slam tennis champion said Lionel Messi’s Argentina can shake off the disappointment of their stunning World Cup defeat by Saudi Arabia and have a deep run in Qatar.

“I’m not one for extremes, neither too much euphoria nor too much catastrophe,“ Nadal, a big soccer fan who supports Real Madrid, said.

“The world hasn’t changed... They simply lost a game and there are two to go. The least they deserve is confidence and respect.

“They come from being champions of America, from having one of the best winning streaks in history, so why lose confidence? I still think Argentina is a clear candidate to go far.”

Nadal, who won two Grand Slams in an injury-hit 2022, said Saudi Arabia’s victory was merely a reflection of just how evenly matched soccer has become.

The 35-year-old also paid tribute to Messi, who played for Real’s arch-rivals Barcelona.
“Messi took things away from Real for years but in the end, as a sports lover, you appreciate someone so special,“ Nadal said. “In LaLiga we’ve been lucky enough to enjoy him in the best years of his sporting career.

“He has given us special moments in the world of sport, he’s one of the top players in the history of football and sport”.
Argentina play Mexico in their second Group C match on Saturday.