Rafa Nadal is a well-known Real Madrid fan, but the legendary tennis player has explained just why he supports Los Blancos over the team his uncle, Miguel Angel Nadal, played for in Barcelona.
The 34-year-old’s family are from Manacor, a town on the island of Mallorca, and it was Real Mallorca that Miguel Angel played for before joining Barcelona, and he then returned to the club later in his career.
Nevertheless, Nadal reveals that his family have always had an affinity for the white side of the Clasico rivalry.
“My dad and all my family have always been Real Madrid fans,” Nadal told Corriere della Sera.
“When my uncle played for Barcelona, they obviously encouraged him.
“Later he returned to Mallorca and since then we have been divided: some are still Barcelona fans, others Real Madrid.”
Nadal was also asked about his relationship with former Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo, whom he does not consider a friend but rather a fellow in the world of sport.
“Friend is a very strong word for me,” he said.
“My friends are people from Manacor with whom I grew up. Cristiano Ronaldo is a companion, a colleague”.
When quizzed on Roger Federer, Nadal assures that he is “one of the greatest men in the history of sport” and also a companion, his “great rival”.
Like many top athletes, Nadal played two sports – tennis and football – but one day had to decide which he would continue with.
“I was a good footballer, but as a tennis player I was much more special,” Nadal stated.
“He [Nadal’s uncle, Toni] was very demanding and that was lucky for me.”
His record in Paris is incredible, having won 13 French Open finals out of the 13 he has appeared in.
“It has happened to me as it can to anyone else,” Nadal explained.
“I am a normal person, with my uncertainties and my fears.
“I think about [what can happen] every day, against any opponent, and that helps me a lot”.
However, the Mallorca-born player admits to being afraid of other things.
“I am afraid of illnesses,” Nadal revealed. “I fear for the people I love.”