RAFAEL NADAL claimed a record 21st Grand Slam trophy on Sunday when he won the Australian Open.
Barcelona official Alfons Godall has resigned from the club after labelling Australian Open champion Rafael Nadal as an “enemy of the state.” Godall was working as Barcelona Foundation’s vice-president when he made the scathing remarks on Monday morning.
Nadal, who is a well-known supporter of Real Madrid, became the most successful men’s tennis player of all-time on Sunday as he defeated Daniil Medvedev in the Melbourne final to win a record 21st Grand Slam trophy.
And that prompted Godall to take to Twitter to promulgate his extraordinary views on the player.
In his tweet, Godall changed the superstar’s surname to “Navidad” – Spanish for Christmas.
“Rafael Navidad has made me uncomfortable from day one,” Godall wrote.
“I have him in the same group as La Roja [the nickname for the Spanish national team], Real Madrid, [Fernando] Alonso and everything that represents the enemy state.”
Godall then announced his resignation in a follow-up tweet on Wednesday.
“The tweet with my opinion about a famous person and his profile can harm the Barca Foundation due to pressure from some companies and the media,” Godall said.
“I don’t want to cost FC Barcelona a penny or give up my freedom of expression. Consequently, I resign from the position. Thank you!!”
On Thursday, Barcelona unveiled their new signing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who joined the club on transfer deadline day from Arsenal.
And club president Joan Laporta took the opportunity to confirm that Godall had left his position.
“He considered that given there had been complaints from employers, investors and sponsors of the Foundation due to a tweet he wrote, he did not want to harm the Foundation and has decided to resign voluntarily,” Laporta said.
“The decision has been respected and that’s it.”
During his discussion about the incident, Laporta went on to describe Nadal as a “great person” and insisted the club had “congratulated Rafa Nadal on his sporting success” Down Under.