Julio Iglesias, the best-selling Spanish recording artist of all time both at home and abroad, lived the last day of his "public life" in Madrid on Friday as he accepted a prize for that double achievement from his record label.

The singer was handed the award by tennis player Rafa Nadal, from one winner to another.

Iglesias will continue singing where invited, but his time of awards ceremonies and public events, the singer announced, probably ended with Friday's event at the Cervantes Institute.

The man who sold 26 million discs in Spain and 300 million in the rest of the world, badly missed his mom and dad at what he called "the most important moment" in his 44-year career, though he hailed the presence of Nadal, "the greatest Spanish athlete in history."

Iglesias gave thanks for his prize to all who bought his discs, went to one of his concerts and gave him their time.

Fresh off Spain's recent Davis Cup triumph, Nadal praised his friend, the "great person" behind the famous artist, whose support he as always been able to count on "in difficult moments."

"Julio can win the hearts of everyone in the world," the tennis great said. "I believe it because, wherever I go, whether it's Japan or the United States, sooner or later they'll be playing one of his songs."

In a recent interview with Efe, Iglesias said that his intention was to continue singing, but leading a much more secluded life, which would mean not appearing at awards ceremonies, particularly after experiencing, he said, "such a magic moment" as today.

"Tomorrow I'll think it was all a dream," he said.