Saudi Arabia, Nadal and the future that awaits us

There Rafael Nadal with what he did by agreeing to be appointed ambassador of the Saudi Arabian Tennis Federation. Everyone becomes the owner of a broken toy in the way they like best. Broken toys go not only to those abandoned by fate, but also to those who decide to voluntarily throw their prestige in the trash. This, of course, compensates them; Otherwise they wouldn’t have done it. Despite this, it is difficult to understand this predisposition to worship the money of so many elite athletes who, by the age of forty, already have enough savings in their checking accounts to be able to live several lifetimes and do so with talent. They want more, they will know why and for what. It’s the moon that worries me, not the finger pointing at it.

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To retreat.

And the Moon is the intolerant Saudi Arabia and its tentacles, accumulating power in half the world and constantly buying wills. The Arabia that Nadal pays tribute to is the same country that tried to force its way into Telefónica, the same country that invested $45 billion in the world’s largest technology investment fund called the SoftBank Vision Fund; and the same one that invested $20 billion in Blackstone, the second vulture fund with the most home purchases in Europe. His long arms, of course, also reach into Putin’s domain, where the Russian Direct Investment Fund, a sovereign wealth fund created by Moscow in 2011 to invest in growth industries, already has several billion Saudi dollars. Whoever can understand, let him understand.

Although Rafael Nadal touched us a little more, we must not forget that Saudi Arabia, a country where freedom of expression does not exist and discrimination against women continues to be scandalous, despite this, has managed to ensure that many athletes from various disciplines and with their lives are more than they decisively succumbed to its financial charms: Neymar, Cristiano Ronaldo, Benzema… recent golfer Jon Rahm In short, for over $500 million, the best in every sport. The figures surrender, and institutions of various sizes bow and, without any hesitation, transfer the most important competitions there: Dakar, Formula 1, boxing… Not to mention our Spanish Super Cup. Why the hell are we playing two semi-finals and a final, squeezed into a tight calendar and in the middle of January? What kind of ending is this? Madrid-Barca in Riyadh? But have we all really gone crazy? This seems to be the case.

Giving in to the oil lure of the Gulf countries will ultimately do no good to a world that has struggled for centuries to win social rights, for equality between women and men, for the end of arbitrary and unfair trials, for freedom and expression for the abolition of the death penalty. We know that none of this is observed there, but we look the other way. Now the most egregious example is Arabia, but without going into details, it also has its place. Qatarwhich has already hosted the FIFA World Cup after years of signing players such as Pep Guardiola, Xavi Hernandez or Raul Gonzalez. Or buy European clubs like Paris Saint-Germain or Manchester City.

Rafael Nadal’s agreement to become an ambassador for Saudi tennis appears to have been the last straw in which such decisions have been tolerated for too long. Poor people, it has often been noted, have only a few years of athletic life left, they have the right to take advantage of this opportunity. Of course, they have the right to do whatever they want, but we also have the right to consider this an indescribable scandal. And proclaim from the rooftops that the political activities of countries that ignore respect for human rights cannot be whitewashed.

The setting for the Gulf Emirates should be left to characters such as honorary king, but what the athletes with whom we shared unforgettable moments of glory do is quite difficult for me to grasp, at least for me. I refuse to suggest that the world that awaits us may be in the hands of those who are now dedicated to buying the wills of famous people, in whatever field they may be in.

“One day I was offered something strong and serious,” the Argentine actor said in a television interview. Ricardo Darin– to which I said no. It was a film that was later made called Man on Fire (Fire of Vengeancein Spain), With Denzel Washington. I was offered to play a Mexican drug dealer, because for Americans, all drug dealers are Latinos.” “Do you know what kind of money you could make there?” – the program host asked him. AND? Darin replied, what’s the matter? “For what? To live better,” the journalist answered. “Better than what I live?” the actor added. “I take two hot showers a day, I’m doing well in the theater, I’m doing great work,” people told us. He kissed and hugged us on the street. “Ambition can take you to a very dark and very desolate place.”

Good that.


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