What is this initiative of Bela Padel Center about? What new does it show us?
It is very clear to me: I will never tell a father to bring his children to Bela Padel Center because I will assure him that they will be professional players. What we will assure them is that padel is not the end, but the way to educate them in the values of sport that I have learned for many years and that it starts from daily effort and sacrifice.
Are your clubs going to focus more on educational Padel?
No, there will be a little bit of everything. Bela Academy, Adult and minor classes, tournaments… We chose the Arena space because it is a club open to all. The idea is to give Padel what it has given me all these years.
There will be those who think that the figure of a businessman Bela emerges because his sports career is coming to an end…
I am going to be an athlete all my life. We are a group of four friends who have become partners to develop these centers and one of them is Carlos Costa, Rafa Nadal´s manager, who knows a lot about this. We already have requests to open clubs in Sweden, Mexico and Portugal, but we want to grow with a clear direction.
After 16 years being world number one, what remains for Belasteguín to achieve on the 20 × 10 courts?
I train every day with the obsession to keep improving so that the day I retire I will offer my best professional version. And I wake up every morning convinced that the best of my career is yet to come.
The word retiring is not yet in your vocabulary at 41…
It will come, sooner or later. But that day I will get out of bed not thinking that the best of my career is yet to come.