This article by Hernan Laurino appeared in diadia.com.ar. The following translation was done by nou.amic for vamosbrigade.com.
Rafa Nadal, a flash of light that lit everyone up22/11/2013 | By Hernan Laurino
There are people who enter places and light them up. Who dazzle. Who you find your eyes irresistibly drawn to; you can't keep them away from where he is. Look at me, I'm Nadal. And though you deny it, you're going to have to look. Compulsorily. We're looking at you. You're Rafa and you're here. Or you were. On a lightning visit. A flash of light. That. Precisely that.
On the run, as if he were all the time getting to one of those impossible balls that only he can dig up and return, Nadal was a flash of light moving around the city.
A press conference in the morning at the Holiday Inn where his smile still hovers in the air. An asado in Unquillo with David and his crowd where each anecdote was a dream for those who were lucky enough to be there. Later on, at the Kempes stadium, those who saw Rafa teaching children in wheelchairs to play were open-mouthed. The little boy whose head he caressed as he said goodbye with a "You can do it, kid" is still crying. He's going to be able to do anything now, Rafa.
At night, at the Orfeo Superdomo (that was no more than 80% full), he did everything possible so as not to be the centre of attention and for David Nalbandian to get all the compliments. But the presence of the world number one has its thing. Even the girls doing the promotion forgot about handing out leaflets and stickers. He had them all in confusion.
"Put in your newspaper that we've come from Esperanza, Santa Fe, to see Nadal. Nalbandian is a great player, but the kids want to see Rafa," said a woman who arrived holding her son Joaquin by the hand. "I like his tenacity and how he gets to every ball. We've come to see Rafa," the boy, dressed for tennis in white cap, orange shirt and white shorts, confessed,
All Cordoba will remember the moment when Rafa came out on court to resounding applause. Neverending. Like the applause the greats receive. The eternal sportsmen. Those that never ever lose the tag of having been the best at what they do. Each movement, each point, each stroke of his racquet was one more choice piece of evidence to add to the tale many will tell.
"Look, Claudia... He's better looking in person than on the telly. Nadal's very handsome," said a woman in her seventies who'd bought a front row seat. A ray of light, the kind that perplexes you, like in summer storms, electric, scintillating. And, first of all, the Spaniard went through all these rituals of his that people still had to see, the ones we're only used to seeing on the telly. So, Nadal tucked his hair back as only he does, adjusted his pants, threw the ball up and served again. As if it were nothing. David returned the ball and the public still had their mouths wide open, dazzled by that ray of light that came to visit Cordoba.
They'll have to call Rafa when some EPEC electric power station goes down. If we plant him in the centre of Plaza San Martin, no doubt he'll light up the whole city. For a micro-second. Enough to let you know you were close to the history of tennis itself.