How Drogba, Messi, and other footballers have paid tribute to Roger Federer following his retirement

The Ivorian Football legend was joined by PSG's superstar as well a host of football stars in paying homage to one of Tennis' all-time greats following his emotional final match at the Laver Cup last week.

Footballers pay tribute to Rafael Nadal following retirement

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal were seen shedding tears after Federer’s final match of his career at the Laver Cup 2022, which began on Friday.

The duo who are widely regarded as two of Tennis' all-time greats have been somewhat of an emotional week since Roger Federer confirmed his retirement from competing in the sport.

Roger Federer’ teamed up with Rafael Nadal for the final match of his professional tennis career, in the doubles event at the Laver Cup 2022.

However, the iconic pairing of 'Fedal' lost the match by 6-4, 6-7 (7), 9-11, as the Swiss legend’s career ended on a losing note.

After losing the match against Jack Sock and Frances Taifoe, both the players were spotted shedding tears while being seated.

The emotional moment which was caught on footage has since gone viral on social media with fans of the iconic duo reacting to the clip.

Fans, competitors, and colleagues and gave a farewell to the 20-time Grand Slam champion, who visibly had a tough time controlling his emotions.

As soon as the doubles match concluded, Federer hugged Nadal, alongside his opponents in the middle of the court.

Federer was then seen crying, as Nadal struggled to hold back more tears, while the spectators at the O2 arena in London chanted, “Let’s go, Roger! Let’s go!”, the player mouthed, “Thank you”.

Amongst the many athletes who have since paid tributes to Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal following the former's retirement was former Chelsea and Ivory Coast footballer Didier Drogba.

The 44-year-old Ivorian great took to his official social media to pen a classy message to the iconic duo on Saturday.

Posting a picture of Federer and Nadal holding hands and crying, he wrote: “This is what real competition is about!!!!

“Challenge yourself to beat your opponent, try to win more games and trophies but remain on good terms or friends once the game is over.

“A lot of people think competition is hate, personal and they are ready to do a lot of bad things just to win…Win or lose with courage and humility, there is a life after it!!

“Congrats @rogerfederer and @rafaelnadal for being such an inspiration for all sports people. My greatest memory of those two Giants was at the Wimbledon 2008 final.

“I’ve been lucky enough to witness greatness. Thank you Maestro @rogerfederer.”

Drogba would no doubt understand what it means to call time to call time in a career that put him on the global stage having called time on his professional career himself in 2018.

The 44-year-old scored 164 goals in 381 appearances in two spells at Chelsea, helping them win the Premier League four times and the Champions League in 2012 having broken on to the scene with Marseille in 2004.

After Roger Federer announced his decision to retire from competitive tennis, The PSG and Argentina superstar took to his Instagram account with over 362 million followers to salute the iconic Swiss great.

Posted an image of the 41-year-old, Messi wrote, "A genius, unique in the history of tennis and an example for any athlete. All the best in your new stage, we will miss seeing you on the court making us enjoy, Roger Federer."

Liverpool's central defender Virgil Vand Dijk heaped praises on the inspirational Federer who was pictured in tears alongside Rafael Nadal after the Laver Cup defeat on Friday.

Taking to his official twitter page, he posted : ''Legend, inspiration and one of the greatest @rogerfederer.''

The Real Madrid midfielder first posted a photo of himself and the 20-time Grand Slam champion with a heart emoji on his Twitter page following Federer's retirement announcement.

Eight days later after Federer and Nadal's Laver Cup defeat, the Los Blancos star tweeted: "I don‘t want this to end #fedal"

The Manchester United goalkeeper also joined in on the tributes.

Posting a picture of himself alongside the Tennis great, he tweeted: "Definition of class @rogerfederer. Tennis will miss you! Thank you for all the memories maestro."

The AC Milan and France striker penned a classy message to the Swiss icon himself.

Taking to his Twitter page, he posted a picture of an emotional Federer after the Laver Cup with a message that read: "Congratulations for your amazing career and for being such a role model, wish you nothing but the best for the next chapter of your life! #Federer".

The Chelsea and Brazil international defender congratulated the Tennis great with a message via his official Twitter handle that read: "Thank you @rogerfederer forever a great champion"

The French football legend and former Real Madrid coach took to his Instagram to send a classy message.

Posting a picture of Federer and Nadal at the Laver Cup, he wrote: "You rock today in a different world. I wish you a second part of life as rich as the first. Thank you Roger, you made the whole world dream! And you stayed the same deeply. Thank you Roger, great class."

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