A day with “Bela”
“I apply myself fully to padel every day. I've been the world's number one for 16 years and 8 months in a row, but nothing compares to the way I feel daily when I finish a training session, not even all the past years of being in first place on the leaderboard”, says CUPRA ambassador Fernando Belasteguín as he eats a breakfast consisting of a 5-egg omelette and a handful of almonds. He's in a hurry, so he gulps down his tea and we climb into his CUPRA Ateca to find out more about this padel legend.
- Four hours of intense training: Bela begins with two hours of physical training in a Barcelona gym, performing non-stop exercises to increase strength, resistance, speed and flexibility. “As I get older, I give greater priority to the intensity of the workout rather than the quantity. To stay at the top of your game you have to be aware at all times of what you need”, he assures. His training continues on the court in Gavá (Barcelona), where he hones his technique for another two hours.
- Tireless work capacity: His lob is his best stroke. “The only secret is that I've hit millions of them”, he explains. “Some people define talent as the natural ability to do something; I work hard to improve every day - that's my talent”, Bela adds. The champion leaves nothing to chance, or at least next to nothing. “Before playing a match I put a new grip on the racquet and nobody is allowed to touch it until I step onto the court - it's a compulsion of mine”, he admits.
- Invisible training: “That's what athletes call nutrition and rest, which are often even more important than physical training, especially at my age”, says Bela as he prepares lunch. Today there's chicken and pumpkin on the menu. “I don't follow a strict diet, but I do eat the type of food that goes well with my profession, although during the holidays in Argentina I indulge in barbecues and my mother's baked goods”, he admits with a laugh.
- Teamwork, always: Juan Martín Díaz, Pablo Lima and Agustín Tapia have all been legendary partners of his. But Fernando also has another partner for his daily routine, his CUPRA Ateca. “My car is just a part of my daily life as my padel racquets”, he explains while driving to collect his children from school. In the evening he takes off his playing gear and puts on his dad clothes. “Padel has allowed me to have time for them every day”, he proudly says.
- With a very clear goal: He has achieved more than any other padel player in the world and still sets goals for himself, like winning the World Padel Tour final in Barcelona. “That would be like the cherry on top of the season”, he says. But what he really wants is to be number 1 again. “The day I stop playing with that goal in mind will be the day I stop playing altogether.”
- A Belasteguín never gives up: This is what his daughter Sofía wrote on a drawing she gave him. After 16 years at the top, an arm injury kept him off the courts. “There was a chance I'd never play again. That was when Sofía gave me the drawing”, says the CUPRA ambassador. Five months later he won the 2018 Master Final in Madrid. “One of the highlights of my career”, he recalls. He always follows her advice to the letter.
The strengths of another champion, the CUPRA Ateca
The CUPRA Ateca was the perfect launch for the birth of the new brand. It was born of the passion of engineers and designers, and developed for people who appreciate fine details, exclusivity and sporty performance, qualities it shares with the CUPRA padel ambassadors. Moreover, the CUPRA Ateca is the official car of the World Padel Tour, and beginning in 2020 padel enthusiasts can admire the brand’s first model at all World Padel Tour matches as it will be on display next to the centre court of all the professional circuit tournaments:
- Born to win: Iconic and powerful, the CUPRA Ateca signalled the takeoff of the CUPRA brand
- Power output: Four-cylinder 2.0 TSI engine that delivers 300 hp. Six driving modes and 4Drive total traction via a Haldex arrangement
- Performance: From January to October 20,600 units were sold, which is 78.9% more than in the same period of 2018
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