Padel thanks ‘El Galleguito’ Juan Martin Diaz. Carraro: “A champion who fired the passion around the world”November 28, 2023
Happy birthday, but above all thank you for what you have given to padel. Today, Juan Martin Diaz turns 48 and, a few days ago, his career that saw him number 1 in the world for 14 years officially went into the archives. In Mexico, Diaz played the last tournament of an unforgettable two decades, which rightfully places him among those players who helped take padel to a new dimension. ‘El Galleguito’, Argentine from Mar del Plata, with the ‘pala’ in his left hand, delighted fans around the world, sharing the court with another legend such as Fernando Belasteguin: in his extraordinary career he won 170 titles, as well as being world champion in teams and pairs.
“Juan Martin Diaz, ‘El Galleguito’ has played the last tournament of an incredible career in Mexico and has decided to retire, even though people like him never retire, if anything they continue in another role to make our sport great – said FIP president Luigi Carraro –. Diaz was number one in the world for 14 years alongside Fernando Belasteguin and with him he lit the flame of passion for padel around the world, inspiring the new generations from which today’s champions were born. All of us in the FIP family thanks to him farewell with the same emotion that he gave us from the court for so many years”.
Many greeted him, among his colleagues, opponents on the court but with the same mission off it: that of bringing padel to become a global sport. The dedication of Sanyo Gutierrez, another pioneer of padel, was touching: “If I were given to choose a few wishes in my life, surely one of them would be that sportsmen like Juan Martin Diaz are eternal. Thank you Juan for what you have given to padel, you are and will be an example of what a sportsman should be like on and off the court. Always with low profile, humble, you left a message every time you took the court. I believe that a lifetime will not be enough for padel to give back to you what you gave to it. May you be eternal: I for my part will make sure that my children know who you are, how you are and what you have been”.