“Living outside Spain I’d maybe have twice the money,
but I’d be half as happy”

Rafa Nadal: “Living outside Spain I’d maybe have twice the money, but I’d be half as happy”

February 8th, 2017 | A Coruña

“Living outside Spain I’d maybe have twice the money, but I’d be half as happy”. Although it is not the first time he has said this, it is worthwhile pointing it out again.

“Money doesn’t buy happiness and I’m happy living in Mallorca,” said Rafa Nadal during an encounter with clients of Banco Sabadell in A Coruña.

“On a wealth management level, yes it might be better to move to another country with more beneficial conditions, which makes more sense given our careers because we earn our money in a few short years. Yes, leaving is an option and even more so the way things are in our country, where we pay very high taxes and there’s also an inheritance tax in most of the autonomous communities.But I have everyone I love in Spain. Here is where I’m happy… with my family, with my friends,” declared the Mallorcan tennis player before the more than 1000 people that crammed the Palexco auditorium in A Coruña.

Rafa Nadal
Screencap by woody

“We demand a lot of others and the first thing we should do is ask a lot of ourselves. The politicians are the ones we vote to represent us and make our country a successful, sound one where we have employment, good infrastructures, a good health service… whatever is necessary to have the welfare state we all want. In the Administration there have been people who haven’t done things well and I hope they’re paying for it or will pay for it. But it’s true we demand much of others while there are people who are paid (under the counter) in dirty money and are also cheating. It may not be much money, but in the end it all adds up to a large amount and as a result of that we have to pay higher taxes, which affects all of us.”

“What I don’t like is that when one lot are in charge the others say everything is being done badly. When you’re in government and do something well, the others ought to say it’s been done well. They can’t always be in a state of general tension. In the end politics becomes radicalized and that radicalizes society and there begin to be more demonstrations than there should be, more tension… We have to fight that, but we also have to say we’re all right when we are.”

“I’m lucky to be able to travel and many places I travel to I cannot get to know well, but I observe what’s happening there. There are some places that are better than us but the large majority are worse. We cannot go around shouting that we have unemployment, a crisis, that our health service is bad… because it’s not true. People had a bad time for a while, but we are recovering. We have to give international investors confidence in us. We need to sell ourselves as a country well situated in the world and with things very well organised. I’ve had to go to hospitals all over the world and I assure you our health service is better than other countries we consider to be much better than us.”

Rafa Nadal
Screencap by woody

“I’ve already got enough eccentricities… If only the finger taping was just one more. We’re gradually improving things, I don’t adjust my socks any more, I keep trying to get rid of one mania or another (laughs) the pants one we’re not going to solve (audience roars)... and now I don’t remember what the question you asked was. Ah, no, it’s not an eccentricity, the skin there is very sensitive and a week ago I was in Australia where it was very hot and now it’s cold. My hands opened up, cracked in very localized areas. I decided to use them years ago and I practise every day with them on and wear them when I play.”

His Academy
“I think it’s a nice project, first of all because it’s being carried out in my hometown. It’s for children who come from all over the world. We have a boarding school and everything that’s necessary for the boys and girls to be all right. We’re very clear that the majority aren’t going to devote themselves to tennis. Of the certain percentage of tennis players that give themselves over to wanting to be professionals, only a very small number get there. No matter how well we try to do things, no matter how determined we are to have the best professionals, the correct attitude.. the vast majority of the kids are not going to become professional players. The world of sport is what I’ve known best and I’m satisfied I was always in a sound/healthy atmosphere and we hope that the children and their families are satisfied. We have to do things as well as possible so that they're all right.”

Spotting talented children
“When you watch a child play you cannot know if he is going to be good. I know if he hits the ball well, if he has the requirements, but then, many factors influence in whether he’s good or not: knowing how to compete, having the eagerness each day to work and improve, which is the key to success. It’s an exercise in daily improvement, if you don’t have that capacity in our sport it doesn’t matter how much talent you have, it’s different maybe in football. Tennis is a sport of repetition and of continuity and, no matter how talented you are, if you don’t have daily discipline it’s complicated. It’s true that the new generations have a bit less of that, but even so you must have discipline. There are many like you who want to get there.”

Rafa Nadal
Screencap by woody

Having a family
“I’d like to have a family with children. I love children and have always had a special relationship with them. Yes, I’d like to have a family, but to be very sincere, it’s not just a personal decision, it’s one for two to decide. That said, the way I understand what the family is, I’d find it hard to have children and be travelling round the world every week. It helps you if they travel with you, but I don’t know if it’s the best thing for them. As I don’t know what might happen, the only thing I do know is that at present I’m happy and my partner is too. When the moment comes, it’ll come.”

Roland Garros (Rafa was asked if RG is his main goal this year)
“My main goal is next week. Roland Garros is the most important event in my career, but you can’t base yourself on one tournament, because say you arrive there and you get injured. What happens then? Do you shoot yourself? One works towards the next tournaments and if I get there in good shape and form I trust I’ll be fine to compete. It’s a reference in my year, but there’s no obsession about it. I still have many important tournaments to play. Then, when Roland Garros comes round, if I’ve done things well, I’ll be prepared.”

Rafa Nadal
Screencap by woody

The AO final against Federer
“Both Federer and I have spent some years without being able to compete against one another. It was a nice experience, better for him, but it was something special. Tenniswise I think the semi-final match was a better show. Roger played the way he needed to play in the final and was a little bit better than me, that’s why he ended up winning, only fair. I also played well, but he put a lot of pressure on me. When his intensity went down a bit I was getting the better of him, but he was very inspired. It came off well for him and he was intelligent. I didn't end up feeling content, because you know it’s an opportunity to win another Grand Slam, but as I always say, and it’s not a set phrase or something I say just for the gallery: winning the trophy makes you happier than not having it, but in the end, after so many years and having achieved more than I dreamed of, what makes me happy is having enjoyed myself on court.”

Playing five sets
“After matches that are so long your body is not very gratified, but your mind is. You're left feeling satisfied if you know you’ve played well, without ups and downs and when you’ve worked at home – which is what isn’t seen, I’ve been working hard for months – making great demands on yourself. When you feel you have the capacity to play this type of match, it’s the time to say everything you’ve done has been worthwhile. In this sense, what happens to me is that when I’m in the fifth set, having spent hours playing, I end up enjoying the feeling of seeing just how far I can go. In the semi-final, which was a very nice match, with good points, there came a moment in the fifth set when I thought, I’m playing well, I’ve been focussed for four hours, if I lose the other guy also deserves it. I was enjoying myself.”

Rafa Nadal
Screencap by woody

The injury in 2016
“It happened in Madrid, but I kept on playing. Then at Roland Garros the moment came when I couldn’t play any more. I had to stop for two months. I came back for the Olympic Games. I wasn’t able to practise at all in those two months, but I wanted to make the effort of going to Rio. My wrist wasn’t affected, although I had an edema on my hand afterwards [In ABC Rafa is quoted as saying: "... in Rio my wrist wasn’t affected, but an edema appeared in another part of my hand because of protecting it”]. But I’d do it all over again, because I think the experience at an Olympic Games is unique: what you experience, what you share living with others… We’re very lucky to be on a tour that’s so well organised, better even than the Olympics, but it’s impossible to find what you breathe at the Games. I was left feeling very satisfied on a personal level. I regret Roland Garros more, that I wanted to play (with my wrist) infiltrated and it was a disaster. That said, we all get the football pools right the Monday after, I was at Roland Garros playing very well and believing I had my chances.”

His slump in 2015
“I didn’t think of stopping playing tennis, but I did think of taking a few months off. I was saying I couldn’t be suffering and having a bad time because it wasn’t a matter of fatigue. I had bad feelings, didn’t manage to control my nerves. When I’d been like that for five or six months, I thought of taking some time off, because I had to solve it. But taking a decision like that is complicated, because you think you’re going to resolve it at the next tournament and who can guarantee you’re going to solve it by taking a rest? The dynamic changed in the last three or four months of the year.”

Rafa Nadal
Screencap by woody

Carlos Moyá
“He’s somebody all the team knows very well and it’s very important for me personally to have someone like him. He’s been welcomed by the whole team. It always helps to have something new, he’s eager and he transmits that to me daily. We’re practising well both with him and with Toni and with Francis. Things are on the right track.”

Real Madrid (Rafa was asked if he’d like to be president of RM.)
“We’ve got a great president, I don’t think Real Madrid needs me. It’s not something I can think about at present. I’m a great fan of football, of sport in general, Madrid is my team, but it’s just Utopia to speak about this. But, of course, yes, I’d love to be president of Real Madrid.”