|Estimated value:||€250 million|
|Country of origin:||Spain|
|Source of Wealth:||Tennis pro and entrepreneur|
Rafael Nadal is one of the greatest tennis pros of all time and, at 33, is still actively involved in tennis. He is also a good businessman and successful in various industries.
Rafael Nadal was born on June 3rd, 1986 in Manacor on the Spanish holiday island of Mallorca. Although he preferred to play football until his 12th birthday, he started swinging a tennis racket at the age of four. His uncle Toni Nadal was a tennis coach in Mallorca and took little Rafa, as Nadal is affectionately known, under his wing.
Rafa Nadal already distinguished himself at the age of 8 when he won the junior championship U-12 in the Balearic Islands and gained his first competitive experience. His uncle Toni was not mistaken about him and so he became a tennis pro at the age of 15 and left school, much to the chagrin of his mother. Notably, he was also a good soccer player and originally wanted to emulate his other uncle, Miguel Angel Nadal. He was under contract with FC Barcelona and played for the Spanish national team.
In 2002, Rafa Nadal entered the ATP list where he was ranked 818th. He played his first game as a professional on April 29, 2002 at the Mallorca Open, beating Paraguayan Ramon Delgado. Rafa Nadal became one of 8 tennis players in history to win an ATP match under the age of 16. Just one year later he was listed among the top 100 players in the ATP ranking.
The breakthrough comes in 2004 when he wins his first ATP tournament in Sopot (Poland). In the same year, he represents Spain in the Davis Cup and attracts attention with his spectacular game, beating the American Andy Roddick in the final and becoming the youngest player to win the Davis Cup.
Between January and June 2005, Rafa Nadal wins 5 tournaments on clay and despite making his debut at the most important clay court tournament in the world at Roland Garros (Paris), he is counted among the favourites. He got the big bang on June 3rd, his birthday, when he beat number 1 in the world rankings, Roger Federer, in the semi-finals. Two days later he beat the Argentinian Mariano Puerta in the final and became the second player after Mats Wilander to win in Paris as a debutant.
This victory in Paris catapulted him to 3rd place in the ATP ranking and made him a celebrity not only in Spain. Rafa Nadal received a blank check from Nike, for whom he had been an advertiser since he was 16, to make the sporting goods manufacturer number 1 in tennis.
Between 2005 and 2019, Rafa Nadal won 19 Grand Slams, 12 of them in Paris. He rounded off his triumphs with a success at the Australian Open, 2 wins in Wimbledon and 4 US Opens. There are also numerous titles in ATP tournaments.
Rafa Nadal finally made it to first place in the international ATP ranking in 2008 and since then his career has been characterized by the constant duel with Roger Federer. The two alternate at the top position in world tennis to this day. Many consider Rafa Nadal to be the greatest player of all time on clay.
But Rafa Nadal is not only a good tennis player, he is also a successful businessman. He not only has his own brand “Rafa Nadal”, whose likeness he lends to large multinationals such as Telefonica Espana, the Korean car manufacturer Kia, the food company Nestlé as well as to insurance companies and banks. He is also the developer of 2 luxury hotels in the Caribbean and part owner of a restaurant chain that he runs with other sports personalities.
Notable is his activity as a philanthropist. He has his own foundation with which he supports numerous projects for young people and which is not only active in Europe but also in India and the USA.
“If you lack passion, you don’t make it to victory.”
“Defeat is not my enemy, fear of losing is my enemy.”
“I have no sense of humor about losing.”
The strong will that Rafa Nadal has repeatedly shown in recent years is exceptional. After several injuries at the end of 2018 and in the spring of 2019, he thought about quitting. First he had problems with his quadriceps, then he developed wrist pain and finally an infection under his fingernail.
Thanks to his willpower, he won his 12th title in Paris on June 9th, 2019 and his fourth US Open on August 26th. With these victories, he became number 1 in the ATP world rankings again.
|Estimated value:||€250 million|