Real Madrid fan Rafael Nadal says he only wore an Atletico Madrid shirt because he was cold.
Tennis world number one Nadal was pictured at the second leg of Atletico Madrid’s Europa League semi-final against Arsenal.
Diego Simeone’s men won 1-0 to book a final clash against Marseille, but Nadal’s presence at the Wanda Metropolitano – wearing an Atletico shirt around his neck – raised eyebrows.
The Spaniard, set to begin his Madrid Open title defence on Tuesday, attended the game as a guest of Atletico’s president Enrique Cerezo.
“Well, there is a problem with today’s society, that to be a true supporter of one team, it seems that you have to be anti another team,” Nadal told reporters. “I just support Real Madrid. I have a lot of friends that are from Atletico.
“They are playing in a competition in Europe against an English team. I just went there to support Atletico Madrid. They invited me. I just wanted to enjoy the day, to see a great football match.
“The [Atletico] president gave me a T-shirt as a gift. At night it was a little bit chilly, a little bit cold, and I just used it as a scarf. That’s all.
“But it’s always the same stuff. Maybe there’s too much hypocrisy, or I would say you people in the media have to write too many things, so you have to explore some stupid things.”