- Issue date: 12/10/2006
- Printing Process: Huecograbado
- Paper: Estucado, engomado, fosforescente
- Size of stamp: 28,8 x 40,9 mm. (vertical)
- Size of block sheet: 105 x 78 mm. (horizontal)
- Postal value of the stamps: 2,33 €
- Print run: 500.000
- Dented: 13 3/4
Along with football and cycling, basketball and tennis are two sports that have a huge following in Spain, particularly since the national team recently won the Japan 2006 World Basketball championships while the roster of Spanish tennis players increases its high profile. Both sports therefore thoroughly deserve to be represented at an event of such national importance as the World Philatelic Exhibition Spain 2006, with the country boasting such excellent players as Pau Gasol (basketball) and Rafael Nadal (tennis), both of whom have gained wide acclaim as among the best in the world in their particular disciplines. As a result, the huge popularity and accomplishments of basketball and Gasol and tennis and Nadal are celebrated at the exhibition in a block of stamps devoted to Sport.
The basketball player Pau Gasol Sáez was born in Sant Boi de Llobregat (Barcelona) in 1980. He plays for the Memphis Grizzlies and is only the second Spaniard to have been taken on by an NBA side, as well as being the first to be picked for an All-Star outfit. He began playing as a schoolboy with Col-legi Llor, subsequently playing for Cornellà before being signed by FC Barcelona for the 1997-98 season. Breaking off his medical studies to devote himself full time to the sport, he was a member of the Spanish Junior team that took the World Junior Championship in 1999. He went on to join the full national side in 2001 and since then has picked up a whole series of records and awards, include a silver medal at Eurobasket in Sweden (2003) and a gold medal at the World Basketball Championships in Japan (2006), where he was also voted Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the Championship. Tennis star Rafael Nadal Parera was born in Manacor (Mallorca) in 1986. He won his first tournament at the age of eight, and became the youngest player to take part in the Davis Cup when he joined the team at eighteen. His professional debut came with the first two Grand Slam tournaments of 2003, and a year later his contribution, now as a professional, was decisive in Spain’s victory over the USA in the Davis Cup final of 2004. In 2005, after winning two Master Series events (Monte Carlo and Rome), he beat world number one Roger Federer in the semi-finals at Roland Garros, going on to win the event. In 2006 he was awarded the Laurens prize for most promising player, breaking the record for the longest undefeated run of matches on clay and winning his second Grand Slam title at Roland Garros.