Spain, France Going To War Over This Rafael Nadal Spoof Video
by Staff | February 8th, 2012, 1:04 pm

Spain and France are at each other’s throats after French media outlet Canal+ produced the above video spoofing Rafael Nadal on the show “Les Guignols”.

The video was released just a day after decorated Spanish cyclist Alberto Contador was busted for doping. The central message in the video is that “Spanish athletes. They don’t win by chance” and in it Nadal is shown to fill the gas tank with his urine.

Naturally, the Spanish tennis federation (RFET) has taken offense and will sue Canal+ for their depiction.

“On this occasion intolerable limits have been exceeded and we at the RFET cannot ignore such discredit and slander towards our athletes,” federation president Jose Luis Escanuela told Reuters.

This is not the first time France called foul on Spain. Last fall former French great Yannick Noah raised eyebrows when he suggested Spanish atheletes benefited from a “magic potion”.

Canal+ has since issued an apology and Uncle Toni has downplayed the video while making it clear Rafa is a clean player.

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61 Comments for Spain, France Going To War Over This Rafael Nadal Spoof Video

Krishna Says:

Wow the video is pretty funny :)

Mark Says:

French warped sense of humour!

alison hodge Says:

im a fan of rafa,but i have to say this is still really funny.

Igna F Says:

this is plain French envy. When was the last time when a French won Roland Garros, or the French Tour?

I just can’t remember.

Ben Pronin Says:

Can someone explain how the Spanish federation can sue a channel in France?

Wog boy Says:

Ben, they are in EU, that is why they can sue each other.

jane Says:

Lol, not quite “Grand Guignol” but somehow horrifically absurd nonetheless. And the ensuing “war” is great drama. Oh those Spaniards and French, gotta love em. :)

margot Says:

Of course the more “outraged” everyone gets, the more publicity for the video. Uncle Tone has right approach.
Not quite my humour…….

Mark Says:

Vamos Rafaaaa! Just carry on stealing the Coupe DES Mousquetaires from Frogland!!!

Dory Says:

Normally I don’t like such videos and I respect Rafa but his constant pestering to switch to a two year ranking system is starting to make me really really HATE him: He’s being so self-centered and cunning as the change is rankings systems would suit him. You can’t just change an established ranking system in the middle of nowhere. Then why not change it before Roger Federer’s era so Rafa would have never gained the No.1 ranking in 2008 or 2010? It’s very disgusting and lowly of Nadal to even say anything publicly about the two year ranking system. I hope he shuts up his BS. I will boycott watching tennis and buying tickets at ATP and ITF tournaments if they change the ranking system just to suit Nadal. It’s wrong and his reasoning behind it is also wrong.

Mark Says:

@Dory. Rafa merely making a suggestion! Why do u have to ‘really really HATE him’? HATE is a very strong word.

skeezerweezer Says:

“Rafa merely making a suggestion!”


Mark Says:

You think Rafa is cunning? Wish he was!!

alison hodge Says:

this thread was supposed to be about that spoof video,i dont know what two year rankings have to do with this?much ado about nothing as its never likely to happen anyway.

alison hodge Says:

mark but your always saying how much you hate nole,comments like classless serb,djokass etc,so dorys now saying it about your favourite player,not very nice is it when the boots on the other foot,get used to it,its called tit for tat.

alison hodge Says:

although i have to admit i do find this video funny even as a fan of rafa,i notice others who mostly find it funny,seem to be fans of nole and fed,but not rafa,i wonder if those fans would find it that funny if the video,was about one of there favourites hmm,makes you wonder.

Ajet Says:

I doubt this video was made for fun.
I just dunno why these french fellas are so badly after Nadal.
They cannot make such a video IMHO as they don’t have the slightest proof about Rafa’s supposed involvement in this drug thing. It’s a aubtle way of raising a grievous accusation, I guess.

Ajet Says:

I mean ‘subtle’ way

Mark Says:

Hey Alison. Thought u were a Rafa fan as well.. You sure don’t sound it. Stick up for your man – that is a true fan.

mike Says:

COme on, I would take this as a compliment. I am sure Rafa feels the same.

alison hodge Says:

mark in answer to your question i am and i do,and believe me some of the posts directed at rafa,do piss me off big style sometimes,but i ignore them as they are not worth bothering with,but the thing you have to realize is when you go on a forum,you and your favourite player are fare game whether you like it or not im afraid,i do love rafa but not as much as the game itself,im a tennis fan not a rafa hero worshipper sorry.

alison hodge Says:

BTW mark even though i dont necassarily agree with your posts,as i dislike haters,i have to admit i love your passion for rafa.

jane Says:

The comment by Yannick Noah was more offensive than the video imo; and yet, while the video was made for a comedy show apparently, I can totally understand how it would and can be off-putting. It is entirely absurd as mentioned before. Noah, though, is an ex-tennis player and made his statement in a news setting, which implies seriousness, and therefore I can see why Rafa was more disturbed by that. People are more likely to take that seriously perhaps? Also margot has a valid point; it might be better for Rafa to ignore this than to make a “war” over it as it just gets more publicity then. Is this some long-standing feud between the French and Spanish? I mean, where does all this come from?!

alison hodge Says:

yeah completely agree great post jane,its not so much about the video,but more about the drug taking insinuation,that rafa and his team may find offensive,time to let sleeping dogs lie.

Adam Says:

The french have forgotten gasquet’s positive for cocaine…That history was really funny!

Paradox Says:

It shows the extend of jelaousiness of French, to accuse Nadal without even a trace of substance.Some people who claims that this clip is funny are not even fans of sport.

gonzalo Says:

We, the spanish people, are upset about the video because the french press is always pouring loads of dirt over our athletes. Not only rafa, but everyone. This video , in its own, it’s not that bad. But If you add up everything, it’s simply too much (like noah’s article). This whole thing can be explained in one simple word: ENVY!!

mat4 Says:

About that video:

Such things are usual practice in France. No need to get offended. They do to anybody, starting with their president, prime minister…

alison hodge Says:

mat 4 george michael did a video spoof of bush and regan ,for one of his songs called shoot the dog,with homosexual references,and madonna uses the shock factor in just about every one of her videos,like a prayer caused such a stir it offened the pope and the catholic chuch,as she was dressed like a prostitute tempting a black jesus down from the cross,so i agree anybody is fare game,but the thing is the insinuations that are made,its ok to have a laugh and a joke but where do you draw the line,between a joke and been offensive?

mat4 Says:


I didn’t say I liked it, quite the opposite.

But although there is a lot of pressure to introduce the “pensée unique” in France, the “politically correct” in every instance and every moment, French still do resist. And they were never politically correct (except at universities, where the pressure on teachers is exceptionnal).

This kind of sketches started more than thirty years ago (the first I remember was the “Colaro show”, then I remember the late Thierry Le Luron). It was the same then, with impersonations of Giscard and Raymond Bar (names that don’t mean much today; the first one was president of France and the second one prime minister, after Jacques Chirac).

In French tennis fora, it is already an accepted fact that Nadal and Djokovic are doping (not “Doudou”, of course), and Yannick Noah, who is not a particularly clever man, just said what he could read or hear about everywhere.

I should add that posters in French fora, generally, are quite harsh and uncivil (though they are not, certainly, the only one).

mat4 Says:

Finally, I just wanted to state a fact about French TV shows. It is not my personal opinion.

alison hodge Says:

mat 4 honestly no offence was taken,and a great post by the way.

Polo Says:

@adam “The french have forgotten gasquet’s positive for cocaine…”

The whole world has forgotten Gasquet. Nobody seems to care for him anymore.

Ben Pronin Says:

Nadal defended Gasquet during the cocaine ordeal.

alison hodge Says:

yeah nadal defended gasquet over the cocaine ordeal,seems that the french have double standards.

Anna Says:

If it were just a case of letting sleeping dogs lie, it would be fine, but that doesn’t seem to be what’s in store for Rafa. I thought that maybe Noah was just a one off, but now it looks like someone in France is going to walk this dog until it takes on a life of it’s own and Rafa is truly discredited. I don’t think the Federation has a choice really. I find it shameful, guys like Noah will run Nadal into the ground, and I do think it’s personal. So NO, I don’t think it’s funny. I think if France is so concerned with doping, then they should look to their own players first.

marrisv Says:

This is very stupid…and not funny at all trying to show one of the greatest athletes in poor light without any evidence.

skeezerweezer Says:

“I think if France is so concerned with doping, then they should look to their own players first.”

You mean like…… Alberto Contador? From Spain?

Look, without evidence no one can claim anything. However, Spain has historical issues with accusations about PEDs, and France is right next door. Maybe to close for comfort? I agree France is probably shouting sour grapes, but that video was hecka funny. Seriously, what is gonna come out of all this? Nothin.

Mark Says:

Frogs will be Frogs! Very appropriate name for the French!

Anna Says:

I hope what comes out of this is that the false accusations stop because they are harmful, even if they’re just planting seeds in the minds of people who may not know much about tennis or the “historical” relationship between Spain and France, and I would imagine that relationship (where France slanders Spain) exists only as long as Spain is competing and whipping their asses. It’s not just this cartoon, its the enuendo, the sarcasm, and outright stupid blanket statements that just add up. I have no idea what the outcome will be, but for sure it’s going to go from bad to worse if they don’t try. Basically, the trouble makers need a timeout, or better yet to be hit in the pocketbook, that always seems to make an impression.

Anna Says:

No Skeeze, I believe Spain took care of Alberto Contador. The French need to mind their own business and worry about whatever doping might be taking place in their own back yard, because if it is prevalent (as you say) then I’m sure there are plenty of French athletes to be wary of as well. I mean most countries have their own hands full when it comes to doping. I know we do.

Oleg Says:

“No Skeeze, I believe Spain took care of Alberto Contador.”

In 2010, Alberto Contador tested positive for clenbuterol. He was then “cleared” by the Royal Spanish Cycling Federation (Spain). This was then reviewed by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (international organization) and he was found to be guilty and received a ban.

Anna, this is why you can’t trust one country to arbitrate over doping matters. Of course countries will protect their own athletes.

As far as this video goes, it’s just a spoof. Do you take everything on Saturday Night Live at face value?

Nadal defended Gasquet… so what? Nadal also defended Contador, and both Gasquet and Contador tested positive. Both received bans. That’s how the system works.

skeezerweezer Says:


Was gonna respond to that but you beat me too it ;)

carlo Says:

Well, as a Contador fan, I appreciated Rafa’s tweet to Berto:

Nadal said on his official Twitter feed: “The Contador news is incredible, there is no definitive evidence and they give him the maximum punishment…LAMENTABLE…keep your spirits up champion! All my support!”

Anna Says:

Oleg – Saturday Night Live takes potshots indiscriminately and everyone is fair game. If they pick on a Republican candidate in week 1, then they’ll do the same to a democrat the following week, so no problem with SNL. The situation with Nadal and the Spanish athletes is not comparable. I’m not suggesting that countries arbitrate their own athletes for doping, I understand how wada (?) works, I’m suggesting that the french CONCERN themselves (different than testing) with their own athletes, quit whining about the Spaniards and get on with the business of sports. I mean they do have an agenda, otherwise Contador could have easily been Lance Armstrong and Rafa… maybe Marty Fish. But then Marty hasn’t won the FO six times and God knows how many clay court titles. As I said in an earlier post, this video isn’t exactly an isolated incident.

Daniel Says:

Gotta love the video! I think the Spaniards need to get a sense of humor. Spanish pee is the way of the future! LOL

Anna Says:

Yeah, a jackass will heehaw at most anything.

Mark Says:

@Daniel. You r one sick dude!!!

nadalista Says:


more comments by Fedfans on this thread than on the other thread where….ehm, Fed lost to Fish…………..go figure.

paradox Says:

i would never be the type of person who believes in false propoganda.Well Federer`s loss is a true news.Learn to digest.

Lulu Iberica Says:

I don’t even care to watch the video. Certainly such a ridiculous spoof from a comedy show is inconsequential, and Noah’s statements in the press were far more disturbing. In any case, the French media and tennis establishment will only have more cause for sour grapes after Roland Garros, as it will be either a Serb or a Spaniard holding the trophy! Hopefully it will be number 7 for the King! Vamos!

jamie Says:

According to the psychic:

The Spanish doper/ass picker/OCD bottle fixing freak AKA Nadal will win Roland Garros this year.

The French tennis fans and sports media won’t be happy at all.

Mark Says:

@Jamie. As long as Rafa keeps winning who cares about your remarks. You r a cheap A&&£&&E with a capital ‘A’!!!

jamie Says:

Have y’all noticed how Nadal looks like the GEICO Caveman?

The resemblance is uncanny!

Anna Says:

This came from another forum but I think it speaks to this situation better than most.

“There is a dfference though between satire and slander. Satire is where you poke fun at aperson’s well-known character traits and habits. Thus it is perfectly in order for the French channel to mock Nadal’s butt=picking or water bottle arrangements because everybody can see that he does these things when he’s on court. But to suggest that his urine is so full of PEDs it can fuel his own car is, frankly, slanderous because there is no proof that Nadal uss drugs to enhance his performance and to suggest otherwise is over-stepping the boundaries and becomes slanderous rather than satire.

It is important in a free speaking democracy, to understand and appreciate this important difference!

dari Says:

The sad part about this is that this criticism comes from the country where nadal’s best tournament is held. He goes out there on the court where he has had some of the best moments of his career to a crowd who does not support him back. Pity

On Look, Rafael Nadal Is Now Announcing When He’s Being Drug Tested Says:

[…] Coincidently, Nadal’s tweet or “response” comes during the same week in which a French TV spot suggested Nadal and his fellow Spanish athletes are dopers. […]

Arline Says:

I cannot understand why nothing further has been heard regarding the report that Novak Djokovic had undergone a blood enhancing treatment (oxygenation) along with a changed diet/exercise, etc.

To my mind anything which artificially improves an athlete’s physical performance, to the detriment of others, is the same as having ingested a “drug” to improve performance. How about that?

I’d be interested in knowing how others feel about this.

Arline Says:

I would also add my name to supporters of Rafa Nadal in agreeing that the French press and sports officials have treated him shabbily, instead of recognizing him as the splendid champion, sportsman and gentlemen he has proven to be.

Mark Says:

@Arline. Yr post 8.21. I agree. This has all been kept under wraps, the oxygenation part. There should be further investigation and more publicity. Somehow the journos are ignoring this very vital issue.

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