© Twitter/Rafael Nadal & Twitter/Pau Gasol

Rafael Nadal and Pau Gasol have jointly launched the #NuestraMejorVictoria initiative.

Nadal & Gasol Support Red Cross In Fighting COVID-19

Fundraising campaign announced on Thursday

Rafael Nadal and six-time NBA All-Star Pau Gasol have launched the #NuestraMejorVictoria (Our Best Victory) campaign, which they hope to use to encourage donations from Spanish sport in the fight against COVID-19. The initiative, which forms part of the #CruzRojaResponde (Red Cross Responds) project, aims to raise €11 million and help citizens in need during this health emergency.

The two sportsmen made an appeal on Thursday via social media, sending out a clear message of unity and reciprocal support to all members of the Spanish public. Because Spanish citizens have supported them in their victories and defeats, they wanted to return that affection at this challenging time.

“You have always been on our side during happy times and difficult times. You have always been understanding… We athletes are what we are largely thanks to your support. Now is the time that we cannot let you down,” Nadal said. “It occurred to me to ring my friend Pau [Gasol] and he was also thinking about doing something. We reached the conclusion that now is the time to launch this initiative, which we hope that the whole of Spanish sport will get behind.”

Nadal is at home in Mallorca and complying with the confinement regulations set out by the Spanish government. Since 14 March, Spain has been under a state of national emergency, which includes measures limiting the movement of citizens.

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“We are going through a time that would have been unexplainable and unimaginable a few months ago,” Nadal said. “We’re suffering the impact of this pandemic which has changed all of our lives, particularly those people who are suffering firsthand and their relatives.

“These are sad times, being at home all day. The news is not very encouraging. There is nothing we can do other than be positive, strong and united in the fight to beat the virus. I have been at home for a few days and thinking about how I can help in this situation, which is completely new to everyone.”

With more than 64,000 cases confirmed and almost 5,000 deaths, Spain is one of the countries most seriously affected by this pandemic. Spanish athletes were quick to respond and several have already shown their support for the project by promising to give donations.

Notable ATP players such as Feliciano López and David Ferrer have been joined by other Spanish athletes, including WTA stars Garbine Muguruza and Carla Suarez Navarro, race car drivers Fernando Alonso and Carlos Sainz, football goalkeeper Iker Casillas, track and field athletes Bruno Hortelano and Orlando Ortega, and yachtswoman Theresa Zabell, among others.