Mon Nov 22 01:26pm EST
In his 2007, Rafael Nadal was juggling a soccer ball after a practice session at a tournament when Roger Federer walked by and gave his young rival an amused glance. Nadal kicked the ball over to Federer and the two began a playful back-and-forth with the ball and engaged in some small talk. After a while, Federer, so impressed by Nadal's footwork said, "hey, you're better than Maradona!"*
On Monday, Maradona, the soccer legend from Argentina, had an impromptu meeting with Nadal in a hallway at the 02 Arena before Nadal's match against Andy Roddick. The former coach of Argentina's national team is in London for the tournament and watched Novak Djokovic defeat Tomas Berdych in the day's first match. He's a big tennis fan and has been known to go to Argentina's Davis Cup matches and heckle the opposition.
Djokovic quipped that Maradona had helped him with his game. "We're working on some specifics, like how to play with hands," Djokovic said, a reference to the controversial "Hand of God" goal Maradona scored against England in the 1986 World Cup final.
A few observations about the Nadal-Maradona picture:
1. Good to see Nadal getting some coaching off the court for a change.
2. Maradona is standing in front of a Whitney Houston autographed t-shirt. I'll leave the rest up to you.
3. I'd imagine Uncle Toni wasn't pleased when he saw Maradona passing advice to his nephew.