Spanish padel legend Uri Botello announces retirement

After over 15 years in professional padel, Uri Botello has announced his retirement from the sport effective immediately.

Spanish padel legend Uri Botello announces retirement

After over 15 years in professional padel, Uri Botello has announced his retirement from the sport effective immediately.

The drive hangs up his racket having won two Challenger events in 2018 in Lisbon and his hometown of Melilla, as well as reaching three Open finals in World Padel Tour - Sao Paulo in 2019, and Menorca and Sardinia in 2020.

He finished several seasons inside of the top ten pairings in World Padel Tour, winning more than 50% of the over 320 matches he has played in ten seasons of World Padel Tour.

After suffering a major injury in 2021 and a difficult return in the current season, in which he became a father, Botello now says goodbye to World Padel Tour. While his departure is tremendously sad news, the Spaniard will always remain in all of World Padel Tour's heart.

Uri Botello's open letter:

"From 2003, the first time I saw a professional tournament in Melilla, I knew my dream was to be a professional padel player, like Juan Martín Díaz, Belasteguín, Cristian Gutiérrez, Gaby Reca, Seba Nerone, Maxi Grabiel, Mati Díaz... and many more players, who for me have been, are, and will always be legends of the sport. Players I looked up to, and still look up to now.

When I left my home in 2006 and landed in Madrid, I knew to reach their level, I had to give it my all day after day. Today, nearly 16 years later, I can say I have achieved the objective I set for myself. After a lot of work, suffering, let-downs and many moments of joy I managed to be among the best pairs in the world, and even in the global top ten (although that only lasted for a few weeks hahaha).

Today it is time to end this chapter. After thinking long and hard, I have decided to end my career as a professional padel player. It was a carefully considered decision. I always said that I didn't want to drag myself around the court and give a poor image, and the moment I stopped looking competitive I would step aside. To be in a competition as competitive and as demanding as World Padel Tour forces you to push yourself to the limit. Due to this high level and the injuries I have been struggling with for the last year and a half, I have been forced to bring this decision forward. 

I want to thank all of my colleagues who have put up with me, both on my side as well as on the other side of the court. If I have been lucky enough to get to such a high level, it is undoubtedly because of what you have demanded of me. I won't forget all of the coaches and professionals whom I've had close to me: Christian, Jorge, Juanjo, Mariano, Marcos Gómez Laborda, Pepelu, Charly Rivera, Alex Roca, Aitor, Jaime, Cristina Lorenzo, Óscar Lorenzo, Fidalpy, Blanca Bernal, Silvia and the wholt Mobility family, Dr. Manuel Leyes and his team... I hope I haven't forgotten many others. Without a doubt, I've been in a privileged position. 

And, of course, Raul Arias, who is more than a coach - a trainer, a mentor and a FRIEND. He always knew how to put me on the right track. When things were going well he was there, but especially when things were going badly, he was always on top of things and always encouraging me. 

Thank you to my family, of course starting with my parents. Thank you a billion times, not only for your financial support in the early stages of my sporting and academic career, but also for always being there. My brother and my cousins, who would always send me messages of encouragement whether I won or lost. And finally, the most important person that life, and this sport as well, has put on my path, my wife. We have lived through such good times that precisely in the worst moment you gave me something that we could have never imagined; a son. You have always been by my side, silently and putting up with my bad moods when I was frustrated because things weren't going well. Always giving me a smile or a hug when I needed them most. Hopefully, I can return the favour a bit from all the support you have given me throughout the years. I hope all that suffering and putting up with me has been worth it.

Thank you to all of my sponsors. Undoubtedly, something unmissable for any athlete. Thank you for always being there: Bullpadel, Padel Nuestro, Kia, Kia Takai Motor, Melilla Sport Capitan, WPA…

Thank you to World Padel Tour for getting padel to grow so much. Nobody would have imagined where we are now ten years ago. Largely, that is thanks to you.

To be honest, I'm not sad. I'm very proud of my career and the results I've had. I have acquired a background and knowledge that I could never have imagined.

Like I said before, a new chapter starts now. Something to do with padel, of course. A chapter in which I hope to continue to carry my weight in the sport that has given me so much. I hope to keep developing as a coach and to keep learning about this amazing sport.

Thank you to all and... LONG LIVE PADEL!"

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