HomeBasketballRicky Rubio awarded Spain's highest civil distinction for sports

Ricky Rubio awarded Spain’s highest civil distinction for sports


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The Spanish government has awarded Catalan basketball star Ricky Rubio with the Grand Cross of the Royal Order of Sports Merit, the highest distinction that an athlete can receive in the country.

Rubio, one of the best point guards in Spanish basketball, announced on January 4 that he was ending his career in the NBA.

World champion in 2019 and best player of the tournament – which earned him the National Sports Award that year –, two-time Eurobasket champion, silver medal in Beijing 2008 and bronze in Rio 2016, in addition to various titles such as the Copa del Rey, the Spanish domestic league, and the Euroleague, Ricky Rubio is one of the most decorated athletes in Spain of recent decades.

In total, Rubio has spent the last 12 years playing in the NBA in the United States, widely regarded as the highest level of the sport in the world.

His career in America has seen him don the jerseys of the Minnesota Timberwolves, Utah Jazz, Phoenix Suns, and Cleveland Cavaliers. As well as that, the El Masnou native played for four years at Joventud Badalona and two years at FC Barcelona.

The Catalan athlete also stands out for his work off the court through the foundation that bears his name, The Ricky Rubio Foundation, which develops various social projects, his involvement in giving visibility to mental health, and his public health work on anti-smoking campaigns.

“One day, when the time is right, I would like to share my experience with everyone to help support other people in similar situations,” his statement read.

With the award of the Grand Cross, Rubio joins other athletes who have achieved this distinction such as Rafa Nadal, Andrés Iniesta, Xavi and Iker Casillas, Teresa Perales, Laia Palau, and Rubio’s own national team colleague, Pau Gasol.

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