Madrid: Rafael Nadal was named the greatest Spanish sports star in history on Tuesday by readers of a Spanish sports daily.
The winner of 13 Grand Slam`s and the current number 1 in the ATP world ranking, received the award at the Gala for the 75th anniversary of the Spanish sports paper Diario Marca, reported Xinhua.
The Spanish player was voted for by readers of the paper ahead of five times Tour de France winner, Miguel Indurain and basketball star, Pau Gasol, who is without doubt the greatest Spanish basketball player of all time.
Nadal`s feats had been recognised by Diario Marca`s readers in 2007 when he won the Marca Legend award.
The tennis ace has enjoyed a fantastic 2013, coming back from a career threatening knee injury to win events such as the French Open, as well as claiming his 25th and 26th ATP Masters 1000 titles in Montreal and Cincinnati, before then winning the US Open, beating Novak Djokovic in the final.
Djokovic would have his revenge by beating Nadal in the China Open, but the fact he reached the final of the event meant Nadal ends 2013 back at the top of the world rankings once again.
Apart from the special award for Nadal, the Marca gala also recognised the performances of many other Spanish sports stars, such as Formula 1 driver, Fernando Alonso and rally driver, Carlos Sainz, Gasol and the former captain on the Spanish women`s national team, Amaya Valdemoro, cyclist Alberto Contador, Spanish national football team coach, Vicente dl Bosque and Real Madrid goalkeeper, Iker Casillas, among many others.
There was also time to remember some of the stars who no longer alive, such as golfer Severiano Ballasteros, footballers, Ricardo Zamora and Telmo Zarra and former basketball coach Antonio Diaz Miguel.
He (Major Dhyan Chand) is inspiration personified. He became synonymous with hockey. He became the parameter of hockey by which other player's calibre is measured.
Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal