Spanish stars line up to back Madrid’s games bid

  • AFP, Madrid
  • |
  • Updated: Sep 06, 2013 01:32 IST

A host of Spain’s biggest sports stars have lent their weight to Madrid’s bid to stage the 2020 Olympics with the final decision in Buenos Aires on Saturday. Tokyo and Istanbul stand in the way of a first ever Olympiad in the Spanish capital.

A star-studded group of athletes and administrators including Pau Gasol of the Los Angeles Lakers and Real Madrid president Florentino Perez will form part of Madrid’s lobbying team in the all-important final few days before the International Olympic Committee members case their vote on Saturday.

“As sportsmen and Spaniards we support the bid,” said Vicente del Bosque, manager of the world champion Spanish football team. “It would be an enormous boost, not just to the capital but to the whole country.”

Barcelona midfielder Xavi Hernandez also joined Lionel Messi, who backed the Madrid bid on his arrival back in his homeland for Argentina’s World Cup qualifiers earlier this week, by saying “it would be great news for all of us.”

“It would be a very positive boost for our country. Madrid has been fighting many years for this and if there is a city that after all the effort it has made and continues to make to win the chance to host an Olympics, it is ours,” said Rafael Nadal.


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