The Ultimate Choice: Why Rafael Nadal's Heart Led Him to Stay in Spain

Rafael Nadal never wanted to leave Spain and live somewhere else

by Jovica Ilic
The Ultimate Choice: Why Rafael Nadal's Heart Led Him to Stay in Spain

Rafael Nadal will likely end his glorious tennis journey next year, 23 years after becoming a pro! After numerous injuries and setbacks, Rafa underwent surgery on Friday night, seeking solutions for his troubled hip and hoping to train injury-free in the second part of the year.

Meanwhile, a 22-time Major winner will enjoy himself with his friends and family on the beautiful island of Mallorca, doing all the basic stuff he had to miss in the previous two decades. Speaking about the best decision he made in his career a couple of years ago, Nadal, the most celebrated Spanish athlete of all time, had no doubts.

Rafa explained that he never wanted to leave Spain and live elsewhere. Despite high taxes and the uncertain career length due to injuries in the early years, Rafa preferred not to move from Mallorca, not even to Barcelona, where he could train for free.

Surrounded by his family and working under his uncle's guidance, Rafa has achieved incredible things in the previous 20 years. He became one of the greatest players ever and established a legacy that should live on through his tennis complex, already gathering some of the world's best juniors.

Rafael Nadal never wanted to leave Spain, regarldless of the taxes.

"Staying in Manacor was the best decision I have ever made; that's one of the most satisfying career choices. When I was young, I could train at the High-Performance Centre in Sant Cugat in Barcelona without paying anything.

Still, I wanted to stay home, work with my uncle and keep my family around me, even though it meant my family had to make significant financial sacrifices. When I became a professional, some people suggested I should go and live somewhere else because it would have been very beneficial in terms of money.

But I decided to stay in Spain and pay a 50% tax on everything I earned from tennis in what could have been a short career. I would have made a lot more money if I had lived abroad. However, that would not make me happy and could have cost me more personally.

I do not know if I would have been mentally prepared to train and live elsewhere. In Spain, athletes pay a high tax rate, and much of what we earn comes from overseas, with a higher tax rate. Still, I have never regretted my decision because it helped me professionally and to achieve all these things," Rafael Nadal said.

Rafael Nadal