Rafa’s Barcelona Celebration Raises A Few Eyebrows

On Sunday, the day Rafa won his eighth Barcelona victory, we posted a photograph along with the lines posted by sports writer Ben Rothenberg on Twitter: “After his win, Rafa Nadal making sure no ball kid goes home sober,” along with the picture that Ben had tweeted of Rafa dribbling champagne down some of the ball kids’ mouths.

The reactions on our Facebook page were quite varied. Many fans were surprised to see Rafa giving alcohol to minors. One person stated that had he been in the US, he would have been arrested. Others remarked that this photograph will surely cause a controversy, because of the seeming shock value, and one went as far as to throw religion into the mix. Some pointed out that it was customary in Spain to allow children to drink some watered-down wine with their food, and others pointed out that minors as young as 10 were allowed to sip alcohol in some European cultures.

The point of this, however, isn’t to debate in which culture this isn’t acceptable, or whether or not Rafa is wrong or right. It’s a fact that he was merely celebrating a victory, and dribbled some champagne onto the ball kids. He did not serve them or buy them alcohol. He surely did not get them drunk – the caption for the photograph was meant to be a funny one-liner, nothing more. And this happened in Spain, where although minors cannot purchase or be served alcohol until age 18 in most parts, it is culturally acceptable there and in many parts of Europe to allow them to sip some wine at dinner. So is the flak justified?

Give us your opinion, Rafans. Tell us what you think in the comments below!


  1. I think it is fine- good spirited. He’s not condoning alcohol. Too much litigious and political correctness these days. It’s up to the parents to make life fun and normal at home and to give instruction on moderate behaviors in the case of alcoholic consumption. Nadal hasn’t undermined any efforts. It’s just fun.

  2. Sure, it’s funny. More doused the children than they gave them drink. He was just a spontaneous and celebrated their victory and you wanted to share their joy. Everyone knows that loves children and would never hurt them. It was just pure joy and the picture is amazing. It makes me happy that Rafa so delighted and happy i did many others, including those of children. Any reasonable person would understand, no matter afterwards, if is Rafa fan or not. ¡Vamos Rafa!

  3. Didn’t raise my eyebrows, just made me laugh. Great picture and great to see Rafa celebrating his win. Doubt the 0.005ml of wine the kid managed to taste will have sent him down the road to addiction and ruin. He’d have tasted more in his mums trifle if he was a British kid and I think my mouthwash contains more than that.

  4. OK, Rafa finally did something that raised an eyebrow. He is the most wholesome kid on tour. I have stayed at players hotels at many tournaments and the players’ behavior in the bar af night is anything but wholesome. Give the kid a break and be happy for his victory!

  5. “Rafa giving alcohol to minors”?! are you kidding or these people are insane. Kids loved that thing it was just for fun and to make them participate in that great victory. Bloody hell, some people are really, really insane.

  6. Get a life people! Rafa was just sharing the joy of his victory and celebration with the ball boys who will treasure and remember that special moment for the rest of their lives. I’m sure none of them went home intoxicated including Rafa so Bacardi and drink responsibly doesn’t have to worry about their image and role model. Kudos to Rafa for be all inclusive.

  7. Whoever is making noise out of this little humor, go and suck yourself! Seriously, if other tennis players can make fond of co tennis players i.e Djokovic portraying pretty much all tennis players he can possibly make fond of, when he himself wears a helmet hairstyle that is sooo fugly anyways! So please, get over this little fun interpreted poorly! The world is already filled with war, guns and terrorism- RELAX THE HELL UP!

  8. I agree. It’s only a bit of fun. Rafa is a very responsible person and he would never intend to get any kid “drunk” The one-liner, was just that. A one-liner. OMG! The world is such a serious place these days. When racing drivers spray champagne into the crowd, do they look around first to make sure there are no minors? NO! Everyone needs to calm down. I thought it was a lovely gesture, and as a mum, I would not hesitate to do the same. 🙂

  9. Oh for crying out loud, it was harmless fun and Rafa was just celebrating a HUGE win. The ballkids would only have had a mouthful if that. How pathetic can you get. You should be celebrating with him and not pointing the finger. Be happy for him will you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. People don’t have a sense of humor these days. And in addition to that, have a lot of free time on their hands! I have seen it happen in all the forums really- they dont log in to post their comment, they log in to stir up something argument worthy. Blame hollywood gossip magazines or sites like Perez Hilton and Just Jared, my fellow earthlings, find a delicious sadistic pleasure in scandals and controversy.
    True, its illegal in the US for minors to buy alcohol, as it should be. And it’s also true that we should not encourage the youth / minors to drink, but Rafa is doing neither.He would not have been arrested even if he was in the US. Because he at no point handed the bottle of champagne to the ball kids,who could be minors ( not all of them were minors). He was holding the bottle, and last time I checked he is 26. It is also illegal to buy alcohol if you are a minor. So the ball kids didn’t buy the alcohol, the organisers gifted it to Rafa. Who in turn handed out a few sips. It is also illegal to drink if you are a minor in the US, but can you honestly tell me the percentage of youth who adhere to the above rule? I am not encouraging underage drinking, but it’s only illegal if you are drinking in public. And last time I checked the Barcelona tennis club was private. Do the police make rounds to each and every house in the US to see if the “minors” aren’t drinking at home. The wealthy have bars in their houses, can anybody ensure that their kids have not hid in the bars and tried alcohol?Can anybody ensure that minors dont drink at private parties? And not to mention the use of illegal fake IDs to get into bars and liquor stores? I have seen parents hand out sips to their sixteen year old teens who want to try champagne or wine. I have read so many reports of college parties, where they serve more than just alcohol. But those dont get highlighted because there is no celebrity involved. Just because Rafa is a public figure loved by many, this issue is highlighted. People today love to make a mountain out of a molehill, and in the process don’t mind tainting the image of another person.
    And last time I checked Spain was not in the US, so this conversation was null and void at the very get go! And the tweet was supposed to be funny!!!! Why dont you write to Ben and tell him to add a winkey emoticon next time he tries to be sarcastic funny? He needs to realise that English might be the first language of many people, but appreciating sarcastic humor is not. I mean I am baffled by the baboonery of those who have made it about religion!! I mean grow up guys!! And to tell you quite honestly, those who pretend to be saintly are the ones who are ultimately the ones who turn out to be corrupt morally. So lets not drag this issue more than it has been dragged on. God! First the grilling of Masha on social media, and now this…when will people stop. Didnt realise that celebration also needed to be screened. LEAVE RAFA ALONE!!!!!!

  11. Much ado about nothing – calm down – merely joy and celebration :-))) Hard to think of anybody more responsible and sensible than Rafa ……

  12. I was surprised he did this even if he was in Barcelona. Remember, he endorses Bacardi Rhum in USA. So, pls. I’m calling on his press agent, Benito to step up the plate. Pls. defend Rafa’s victorious act. I’m sure Rafa just meant to celebrate. And if it was Spain’s tradition to let the kids have a slight taste, so be it!

Leave a Reply