With 22 Grand Slam titles to his name, Rafa Nadal is revered as one of the finest tennis players of all time. Fans of the sport can reflect on a golden age of tennis, with Nadal and Roger Federer at the peak of their powers over the past decade, resulting in memorable matchups and tournaments.
But as the sun sets on Rafa’s illustrious tennis career, just as it did this year for Roger Federer, the Spaniard will be able to concentrate on some of his other passions, which is the focus of this article.
As well as being a talented player, Rafa Nadal is a fanatic Real Madrid supporter, often attending the Santiago Bernabeu to watch his team in action.
While several members of his family are Barcelona supporters, Nadal said his father got him into Los Blancos, and he has never looked back.
Nadal also attends many of Spain’s international football matches and has close relationships with several players. Given his passion for football, perhaps Rafa will follow in the footsteps of Gerard Pique and invest in a lower-league Spanish team during his retirement from tennis. Only time will tell!
The Rafa Nadal Sports Centre
Something likely to take up a significant amount of Rafa’s time following his retirement is the development of the Rafa Nadal Sports Centre. The 430,000 square ft complex is located in his hometown in Manacor, Mallorca. It is home to the Rafa Nadal Tennis Academy, a museum, a health clinic, and a fitness center.
Rafa has also opened centers in Kuwait, Greece, and Mexico, and he will likely add to his fledgling business when he has more time on his hands. Perhaps his next venture will see him open a sports centre on the Spanish mainland or maybe elsewhere in Europe.
Once he finally quits the tour, Rafa will have a lot more time to enjoy his passion for online gaming, which includes poker. He has learned how to develop some decent poker skills over the years, although he’s more of a hobby player rather than entering online tournaments.
In 2014, Rafa played against the then world’s number 1 female poker player, Vanessa Selbst, in a game in Monaco. He has spoken openly about his passion for poker and will undoubtedly remain interested in the popular card game throughout his retirement.
As with many wealthy sports stars, Rafa Nadal has given his fair share to charity over the years and has been involved in several high-profile campaigns.
He conducts most of his charitable work through the Fundacion Rafa Nadal, and his mother is the chair of his foundation. Rafa has supported a number of causes over the years and was instrumental in raising money to support flood victims in Majorca in 2018.
He donated 1 million euros to help rebuild a community in Majorca and supported projects in different parts of the world. There’s no doubt that Rafa will continue his great work in his retirement, now that he has more free time on his hands.
So many of us look forward to our retirement years as we see it as an opportunity to work on our handicaps and head out onto the golf course!
Rafa Nadal seems no different in this regard, and golf is likely to be a big part of his retirement plans. In October 2020, Nadal played in the Balearic Golf Championship and earned a World Amateur Ranking in the process.
This is an exceptionally impressive feat for a professional of another sport and highlights just how talented Rafa is. There are some stunning golf courses in the Balearic islands, and there’s no doubt that Rafa will improve his game by playing golf in the sun.
He certainly has some good friends to consult about the game – Tiger Woods visited his academy earlier this year.
Rafa Nadal might be one of the best tennis players to have ever lived, but with the end of his career on the horizon, it’s time for him to turn to some of his other passions away from the court.
As you now know, Rafa has many things to keep him busy now that he’s no longer playing for Grand Slams. Whether he’s cheering on Real Madrid or lowering his handicap on some of Majorca’s stunning golf courses, Rafa Nadal will undoubtedly be looking forward to his retirement from professional tennis to pursue his other passions.