Rafael Nadal casually scoring double hat-trick vs Real Madrid legend Iker Casillas in 2008

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It is crazy to think that arguably the greatest Spanish athlete of all time may have never even continued playing the sport that they are now idolised for beyond childhood.

However, for tennis legend Rafael Nadal, this was a real possibility, as the talented athlete was faced with having to choose between his two loves, tennis and football, as a teenager.

It’s fair to say that Nadal has proven himself far more than correct with the choice he made, being the current leader in all-time men’s major singles titles, with an incredible 22 Grand Slams to his name.

However, after watching the video of Nadal’s footballing skills, one can only wonder how far he could have gone in the beautiful game’, potentially even surpassing his uncle who played for Barcelona under Johan Cruyff!

In the video uploaded onto YouTube, Nadal shows no sign of rust from his footballing teenage years and is seen dominating the pitch, scoring an unbelievable double hat-trick.

Rafael Nadal’s first goal arrives after a swift escape from an opponent with a flawless Marseille roulette before a bottom corner finish that would leave Zinedine Zidane in awe. The King of Clay’s second goal is an outrageous long distance banger on his left foot, before finishing his hat-trick with a step over and drilled finish into the bottom corner with his right foot, leaving the ‘keeper stuck in the mud in the middle of the goal.

Rafael Nadal


And the goalkeeper was no other than World Cup-winning captain Iker Casillas!

The three-time Champions League-winning goalkeeper is left looking astounded by Nadal’s footballing skills, spinning around in disbelief after he drilled a left-footed volley past the legendary ‘keeper for his fourth goal.

The match was organised by charity Red Cross in 2008 and there was no better two Spanish sporting legends than Casillas and Nadal to headline the event, with the two teams split into ‘Friends of Rafa’ and ‘Friends of Iker’.

Many Spanish sporting legends such as F1 racer Fernando Alonso and golfer Sergio Garcia featured. However, no one stole the show quite as much as Nadal, who was making professional footballers look amateur with his unbelievable technique and athleticism.

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