If the Nadal had picked soccer instead of tennis...

What would be Nadal level as a soccer player?


  • Total voters
    68

Jonesy

Rookie
We all know that Ned nurture a secret love for soccer.

So, what would have changed in the tennis world had the bull choosen to be a soccer player instead of being a tennist?
 
F

FRV

Guest
I chose A level. I give him the benefit of a doubt. He was extremely fast in footage I saw from 2005. I don't know how well this would translate to soccer. I originally chose Messi/Ronaldo, but that just isn't reasonable at all.
 

Wurm

Rookie
Messi/Ronaldo level is, along with the likes of Maradona and Pele, the best level of football ever played - not bloody likely he would've been that good.

Quick, explosive runner. Good foot-eye coordination, evidently. Apparently scored a tonne at junior level.

Now, I played with someone like that who went on to play pro (I never thought he was that difficult to defend against in training...) and he topped out at the 3rd tier of English football, though he was all of 5'7" fully grown and a lazy sod who only came to life when he was in scoring range.

The "read how someone's going to play as they walk onto the pitch" test suggests to me he would've been a bit of a head down and charge kinda player, probably not a great passer nor likely to score many goals from distance and probably did not like it up him (i.e. would not have relished playing a dirty so-and-so such as Sergio Ramos) but he would've been a Mr "Take your eyes off him for half a second and he's found space and scored a goal" type and I would assume a very hard worker who might've been best playing in midfield than what was apparently his chosen/given role as a child playing as an attacker.

Top flight player, I would expect.
 

Jonesy

Rookie
Definitely would be a good player. A league minimum. Hard to deny his physical atributes.

As for the tennis world:
Fed would have 30 slams (6 RG)
Djoker 20+ slams (5 RG)
Murray would have 2 slams
 
Tennis more than football IMO is the ultimate test of athleticism and hand eye coordination.

I’m sure most of the top ten besides the lanky giants would be playing in top club teams in Europe if they had dedicated their lives to football.
 

Wander

Professional
If Fed and Nadal had both picked soccer, who would have been better?
Nadal would have had an advantage in physicality and speed, but as in tennis, that's not everything so who knows. You can imagine Federer as a pretty creative footballer, and if his foot skills were anything like his hand skills in tennis, he might have been quite impressive too.
 

junior74

G.O.A.T.
* There would be a countdown watch for throw ins
* Goal keepers would have to wait to put the ball into play until Rafa was ready
* The linesmen would have to carry Rafa's towels at all times
* Soccer would have been played on clay
* Soccer/ football would have been renamed "Footbull" among his fans
 

smash hit

Professional
Diego Schwartzman was recently asked a question about footballers and the ATP tour,.

In an interview to Tennis Legend Diego Schwartzman spoke about his passion for football. The Argentinean, who is a big Boca Juniors fan, said: "I started playing football as soon as I was able to do it. I stopped when I was 13 years old because of an injury and then I focused just on tennis.

All the kids play football in Argentina so I was playing tennis and football." Asked who is the best tennis player in football, Schwartzman replied: "There are many, but I will say Rafael Nadal is the best one.
TennisWorld
 

Imperator

Professional
* There would be a countdown watch for throw ins
* Goal keepers would have to wait to put the ball into play until Rafa was ready
* The linesmen would have to carry Rafa's towels at all times
* Soccer would have been played on clay
* Soccer/ football would have been renamed "Footbull" among his fans
I know you were joking but you pointed out something interesting. Nadal wouldn't have had the time to perform his OCD rituals, maybe that would have been a problem. He needs to do things at his own pace, which wouldn't have been possible in soccer football.
 

citybert

Hall of Fame
Soccer is not a meritocracy like tennis. He could get benched by a coach that doesn’t like him or a teammate that doesnt want to work with him could hurt his success. Much more luck involved as well. Yeah ok lets keep the rigged draw jokes aside, but its so much more luck dependent than tennis.
 

Jonesy

Rookie
If Fed and Nadal had both picked soccer, who would have been better?
Fed would be a great goalkeeper with his reflexes and coordination, but maybe a little short for the position.

Nole would be good for a striker with his agility, but the defenders would probably feast on him and he would end up suffering a lot of faults.

Bull would be an excelent midfielder with his stamina running all the field.
 

er4claw

Rookie
Tennis more than football IMO is the ultimate test of athleticism and hand eye coordination.

I’m sure most of the top ten besides the lanky giants would be playing in top club teams in Europe if they had dedicated their lives to football.
I'm not sure what you mean by "athleticism" but no I don't tennis players would excel at a decathlon or in functional strength/movement compared to other sports. I would guess they would be at the mid to lower bottom of the pack.

In tennis your competing against essentially, a small group who have been intensely trained in the sport from a young age (3-7ish). In soccer your competing against the deepest talent pool in the world. Absolutely dwarfs tennis. Its the equivalent of someone being the best in their classroom at something to someone who was the best at something in all of London.

How do you know they would? The top clubs in Europe are the creme of the crop. So what do you think that elite athletes in general can just switch out sports or do you have delusional notion of tennis player superiority?
 
I'm not sure what you mean by "athleticism" but no I don't tennis players would excel at a decathlon or in functional strength/movement compared to other sports. I would guess they would be at the mid to lower bottom of the pack.

In tennis your competing against essentially, a small group who have been intensely trained in the sport from a young age (3-7ish). In soccer your competing against the deepest talent pool in the world. Absolutely dwarfs tennis. Its the equivalent of someone being the best in their classroom at something to someone who was the best at something in all of London.

How do you know they would? The top clubs in Europe are the creme of the crop. So what do you think that elite athletes in general can just switch out sports or do you have delusional notion of tennis player superiority?
Yes I have the delusional notion that tennis requires a combination of athleticism and hand eye coordination which is not found in other sports.
 

Mainad

Bionic Poster
We all know that Ned nurture a secret love for soccer.

So, what would have changed in the tennis world had the bull choosen to be a soccer player instead of being a tennist?
More players would have won Roland Garros in the last 14 years.
 

RaulRamirez

Hall of Fame
I can't say that I'm a huge soccer fan, but I follow it to some degree. It seems hyperbolic to suggest that Rafa would've been a top three player of the last 10-15 years, though he does seem to have so many athletic attributes that would translate to 'soccer,' along with his indomitable spirit. While it's all speculative, I think he could've been a successful pro...though I think he made the right decision!
 

Azure

Legend
His knees/feet wouldn't have lasted as long.
Debatable. Tennis is long grinding hours. Football is short spurts on the field. Rafa would have had to play for 40-45 minutes before being taken off the field for replacement. That's an average amount of time he spends per set in tennis.

There's no way to answer this question but I think all European tennis players would have been decent football players. Federer somehow feels wrong outside of tennis.
 

Imperator

Professional
Wawrinka was extremely tired due to that grindfest with Murray the day before
That's a good point but I think he would have been extremely motivated without the God of Clay standing on his way so maybe he would have overcome his tiredness. It must be pretty demoralizing to face Nadal just after an extremely tough match so I think he was already defeated before stepping onto the court.
 
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