F.C. Barcelona pay tribute to Fernando Belasteguín

The number 1 of the World Padel Tour ranking , Fernando Belasteguín, received on Wednesday night the recognition to his career on behalf of FC Barcelona.

F.C. Barcelona pay tribute to Fernando Belasteguín

Video provided by BarçaTV

The Argentine was the guest of honor at the match in which FC Barcelona achieved the pass to the quarterfinals of the Champions League against Arsenal. That evening the president Josep Maria Bartomeu handed a team jersey with the number 14, in reference to the years Bela has been leading the world padel championship classification.

"I cannot believe it, my legs were shaking," recognized Belasteguín, who this morning was visibly moved by this distinction by a football club which he is sympathetic towards, though his heart is tinged with the red and green colors of his beloved Club Atlético General San Martin de Pehuajó.

"More than 20 days ago I received a call from the marketing department of FC Barcelona to invite me to this match, because the president wanted to show his gratitude towards me for my sporting career. At first I thought it was a joke, "said Bela.

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Shirt Exchange

It was not a normal day in the life of Belasteguin. He left his apartment very early with his wife Cristina, walking the ten streets that separate them from the Camp Nou, a scenario that he usually frequents along Federico, the eldest of his children. But this time was different, he was the star.

During the halftime, at the Presidential Box of Barça's coliseum the president of the institution Jospe Maria Bartomeu and other board members delivered the shirt of FC Barcelona to Belasteguin . Bela, meanwhile, returned the gesture by giving the president his shirt and the book of his autobiography, "Bela, this is my story."

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"I was pleasantly surprised by Bartomeu, a very close person who we talked with for over ten minutes, even though he doesn't play padel," said the player from Pehuajó laughing.

After enjoying the victory of his team by 3 to 1 against Arsenal and the pass to the quarterfinals of the Champions League, Belasteguín was invited down to the ​​player's zone where he was photographed with several of the players of the first team.

"I already had the pleasure to meet Iniesta and Pique because we played some padel matches together, but I had never coincided with Messi and it was a very special, amazing moment," said Bela who would not go into details of that long talk he had with the world soccer star, but maybe in the not too distant future they might see themselves face to face on the court, as Messi confessed to practicing the sport.

He also had the chance to take photos with the other two scorers, Neymar and Suarez, and FC Barcelona's coach, Luis Enrique, another follower of padel and who said had known some of the successes of Bela along his career.

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A memory for a lifetime

The first thing Belasteguín did upon arriving at his home was call "my old man (father) to share with him the excitement I felt and we found it difficult to believe that an institution like FC Barcelona have thought to recognize my career in padel."

"It's a memory that will stay with me for life and I will be able to tell my grandchildren," the number 1 of the WPT ranking said laughingly minutes before starting his daily training with teammate Pablo Lima under the orders of coach Miguel Sciorilli and Marcela Ferrari.

Precisely speaking of the training and the few days remaining for his debut at the Open of Gijon, Bela said that "we are taking turns at physical training and on track training ... at my age I cannot do double shift training (laughs) , I will leave that to Pablo who is younger and has a tremendous motivation, he could play three matches straight. "

Happy for the rapid recovery of the Brazilian, he said that "we will arrive in perfect conditions to the first tournament, but then everything will depend on the rivals. As I have said several times, they have formed very good partnerships and it will be difficult to maintain the level we had last year."

Actions like this one by FC Barcelona are a clear demonstration that the padel is already a recognized sport that continues to grow year after year.

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