The Spaniard survived a scare to reach the last eight in Madrid.
Los Blancos beat Manchester City 6-5 on aggregate to reach the Champions League final after being on the brink of an exit.
The Spanish champions trailed 1-0 on the night and 5-3 on aggregate going into the final minute of normal time, but Rodrygo’s quickfire brace forced an additional 30 minutes.
Karim Benzema then struck a penalty in the first period of extra time to complete the turnaround and set up a mouthwatering Paris showdown with Liverpool.
Nadal, a staunch Real Madrid fan, saw off seventh-ranked Goffin 6-5, 5-7, 7-6 (11-9) in the Madrid Open on Thursday to reach the quarter-finals. He saved four match points in the third set before converting his third opportunity to reach the last eight.
He’s on a quest to lift a record-extending sixth title in the Spanish capital and faces compatriot Carlos Alcaraz in the next round.
After his victory, Nadal said that he drew inspiration from Real Madrid’s heroic effort, said:
“Yesterday has been an unforgettable night. The spirit that the Real Madrid team have is just incredible and for me today in some way has been an inspiration.”
The 35-year-old, playing in only his second game since recovering from a six-week layoff from a rib injury, had several tricky moments during his showdown with Goffin.
After winning the opening set, he served the second but was stretched to a third by the Belgian.
In the deciding set, Nadal held four match points before eventually clinching victory.
Speaking about his next opponent, Alcaraz, against whom the Spaniard boasts a 2-0 record, having beaten him in the 2021 Madrid Open and 2022 Indian Wells, he said:
“I think that today, he is better than me and he has a good dynamic, a good momentum.”I’m clear who, from the beginning, has some kind of advantage in tomorrow’s match. But in that regard, I will try to do as much as possible to be competitive.”
Real Madrid face Liverpool in 2018 final rematch
For the second time in five years, Real Madrid and Liverpool will face each other in a UEFA Champions League final.
Their 2018 showdown ended in a 3-1 win for Los Blancos, who benefitted from two huge mistakes from Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius either side of a spectacular bicycle kick from Gareth Bale.
Both teams have undergone a lot of changes since then and appear to be in great shape ahead of the Paris showpiece.
Liverpool are chasing an unprecedented quadruple. They won the Carabao Cup earlier this year, will play Chelsea in the FA Cup final on May 14. The Reds trail league leaders Manchester City by a solitary point with four games left.
Real Madrid, meanwhile, are chasing a record-extending 14th Champions League title and their first league and European double in six years.