The 12 Pillars of Rafael Nadal

An editorial in talks about Rafael Nadal’s team and the people that surround him. Rafa himself has stated more than once that having a strong support system is one of the biggest reasons for his success. The article talks about the key people in Rafa’s life that stand behind him through thick and thin. Below is a summary of the article. Read the original article here

El entorno de Nadal (Nadal’s Environment)

Rafael Nadal’s team consists of his family and professional staff, who is also considered family. Collectively, they create an environment of confidence, stability and affection that has helped Rafa focus on his talent since he was a child. They are behind the scenes, taking care of the logistics, and also present at Rafa’s matches, cheering him on.

Rafa is quoted from his autobiography as saying “Each one complements the other, and all play a key role in strengthening my weaknesses and to make them exceed my strengths. Imagine that I could be so lucky and so successful without them, it’s impossible.”

Uncle Toni:  He started coaching Rafa at age four. A strict disciplinarian, he taught Rafa (or Rafael, as he’s still called by his closest) that happiness comes from work and discipline. Toni, Rafa’s parents, and the rest of the family are responsible for bringing up Rafa to be a good sportsman, humble and concerned about the disadvantaged.

Francis Roig: He joined the coaching staff in 2006 and travels with Rafa when Toni doesn’t.  Roig himself was a professional tennis player, with a career high of #23 on the singles ranking, and understands the family dynamics well.

Joan Forcades:  A Manacor-based fitness instructor, Joan has been his trainer since childhood. He develops Rafa’s training program, that is implemented by Maymo.

Rafael Maymó: Rafa’s physical therapist and close friend who in on the tour with him all year.

Carlos Costa: Rafa’s agent, Carlos himself was a former player, reaching #10 on the singles ranking and once beating Pete Sampras himself. Carlos has represented Rafa since he was 14.

Dr. Angel Ruiz Cotorro: Rafa’s physician, who plays the important role of taking care of Rafa’s health.

Benito Perez Barbadillo: The head of B1PR is well known among Rafa fans. No one gets to Rafa before getting through his publicist first.

Jordi Robert: ‘Tuts’ is Rafa’s assistant at Nike, responsible for designing his looks each season.

Sebastian Nadal: Rafa’s father has been very supportive of his son. He accompanies him, along with the Nadal ladies, to tournaments around the world.

Ana Maria Parera: The matriarch of the family, mama Nadal is close to Rafa and one of his biggest cheerleaders.

Maria Isabel Nadal: Rafa and his sister are very close. Rafa likes to keep his sister away from the paparazzi.

Maria Francisca Perello: She’s referred to as Meri, not Xisca, as most think. The two have been a happy couple for years now and couldn’t be cuter together. Together with Ana Maria, Maria Francisca heads the Rafael Nadal Foundation.

These twelve “pillars” of Rafa’s life make him who he is today – a humble champion, a true sportsman, and just an all-around great guy.


  1. Such a blessed family to have such a great person as Rafa to entertain us as his fans and we will always love and cherish Rafa for all the wonderful tennis he had made us enjoyed so much win or loss I will always love Rafa just as if he’s my own son!Whenever Rafa lose I will not get over it for days, but happy he can and move on easily to another tournament. I was so sad when he lost AO 2014 I cried. my son saw and he surprised me with the whole tournament ticket to see Rafa in Toronto August 2014. I was happy but mad too.I told my son what if Rafa is not healthy and pull out! My son said mom he has to come to defend his title. I hope he do or else I’ll be so sad and disappointed I’m sure my son paid over Two thousand dollars for those tickets.I am waiting so long to see Rafa, he didn’t come 2012, I pray and hope Rafa make it to Toronto. Today I bought a big hat to withstand the sun and my son reminds me mom you need to get Rafa poster so he can sign his autograph on it. I’m dreaming to meet Rafa in person.Love him so much and love from Toronto Rafa. Keep healthy.

    • I share your sentiment, Ms. Chandra. Our collective well wishes for Rafa’s continuous success will give him more and more victories that he truly deserves.

    • My wife is very devoted Rafa’s fan. Her opportunity came in 2013. We went to see Rafa vs Delpo in an exhibition match at Medison Square Garden. She was able to meet Rafa and get his autog😀raph.

  2. They truely. are a supportive and beautiful family. Rafa is Very fortunate to have them and they him. Will always love and support my hero.

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