Madrid: Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy awarded the Gold Medal for Merit to tennis star Rafael Nadal, who stated that "victory is accomplished through work".
The ceremony was held at the Moncloa Palace here on Friday, which marked Labour Day, reports Efe.
Nadal was one of the winners of this award, decided last June 13, but he could not pick it up at the ceremony in November because he was still recovering from his recent appendectomy operation.
"It's a real honour to receive this award that embodies the merits of working. Throughout my career, and since I was little I had a maximum dedication to what I was doing. In everything I do I always try to give my best and certainly it has been one of the keys to my success," said Nadal.
"I never imagined receiving such a medal. I am grateful," he added, hoping to overcome this period of ups and downs and be able to restore stability and walk again in the path of victory.