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Tennis star Rafa Nadal is “heartbroken” after Sunday’s Catalan independence vote turned violent.
The Spanish government ordered riot police to shut down polling stations in the Catalan district. Social media footage appeared to show the police fire rubber bullets at potential voters and attack them with truncheons.
Police brutality has already been condemned by former FC Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola.
Now, another notable voice in Spanish sport has given his say on the incidents.
“I personally feel like crying,” Nadal told reporters, according to MARCA. “I think that the image [of Spain] we have transmitted is very negative.
“To see the society in general, not only the Catalans, so radicalised… I am surprised and disappointed.
Offering a possible resolution to the crisis, Nadal said: “The only way is to speak [and] talk between the parties in conflict and try to reach agreement. In the end, we will be living together for the rest of our lives.
“There have been people who wanted to manipulate information, which has generated a chaos that should not happen in the century that we live in.”
Nadal is currently competing in the China Open in Beijing.