10 Things You Didn’t Know about Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal should be a familiar name for a lot of people out there. After all, he is one of the best tennis players in the entire world, as shown by the fact that he has won no fewer than 17 Grand Slam singles titles so far. Here are 10 things that you may or may not have known about Rafael Nadal:

1. Born in Manacor

Nadal was born in a town called Manacor, which can be found on Mallorca. It is interesting to note that Manacor is very, very old. For instance, it once operated as a Roman port. Furthermore, it is known that the human settlement of the local region can be traced to between 2,000 and 1,200 BC.

2. Huge Fan of Ronaldo

When he was a child, Nadal was a huge fan of Ronaldo, a retired Brazilian footballer who is still respected for being one of the best players of all time. It is interesting to note that Nadal was able to get a picture with him in the FC Barcelona dressing room, which was possible because one of his uncles is a retired footballer.

3. Had to Choose Between Tennis and Football

In his tweens, Nadal was competing on an European level while playing football full-time as well. His father eventually made him choose between one or the other because the two sports were taking up so much combined time that he was concerned that Nadal’s studies would suffer. As a result, Nadal chose tennis while stopping football right away.

4. Refused a Request to Move to Barcelona

A little later, the Spanish tennis federation asked Nadal to move to Barcelona for the sake of his continuing tennis training. Nadal’s family refused the request. Partly, this was because of concern for his studies and partly, this was because they didn’t want to believe that Nadal had to go to a particular place to become an outstanding athlete. Turning down the request resulted in less funding for Nadal, but Nadal’s father covered that gap.

5. Has a Trophy-Biting Habit

Amusingly, Nadal has a habit of biting the trophies that he wins. One story is that a photo of one such incident went viral, which is why photographers often ask him to do the same for other trophies. As a result, Nadal is just fulfilling their requests without needing to be asked. Whatever the case, it is interesting to note that the practice is far from being limited to Nadal.

6. Greatest Clay-Court Player Ever

Nadal is considered to be the single greatest clay-court player by a lot of tennis enthusiasts. After all, he is the Open Era player with the most clay-court titles. Moreover, he can claim the long single surface win streak as well at a total of 81 wins.

7. Sponsored By Kia Motors Since 2006

Of course, Nadal has a lot of product endorsements because of his success. One excellent example is how he has been sponsored by Kia Motors since 2006, which has resulted in a long and fruitful partnership for both sides. Said relationship is expected to continue until at least 2020 because of a five-year extension that was signed in May of 2015.

8. International Ambassador for Quely

Speaking of which, it is interesting to note that Nadal is the international ambassador for Quely. In short, Quely is a Mallorca-based company that makes biscuits, baked goods, and various chocolate-covered treats. This was a very natural partnership, seeing as how Nadal has been eating its products ever since he was a child.

9. Has an Asteroid Named for Him

There are a lot of asteroids in our solar system, so it should come as no surprise to learn that they have been named for a lot of things. For instance, there is a 128036 Rafael Nadal that can be found in the main belt, which is situated between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter.

10. Used to Watch Dragon Ball

On a final note, it is entertaining to mention that when he was a child, Nadal would run home to watch Goku on Dragon Ball, which was his favorite Japanese anime. With that said, Dragon Ball was reaching its international peak in those times, so this isn’t actually that surprising.

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