Celebrity News

Childhood sweethearts with a baby boy: Meet Rafael Nadal’s wife Maria Francisca Perello

Loved up since 2005.
Loading the player...

He’s the handsome tennis champ who has dominated the court, but when it comes to his personal life, Rafael Nadal tends to keep it quiet.

The 36-year-old has been married to wife Maria Francisca Perello (nicknamed Xisca), 33, since 2019 but the couple go way back to their childhood years.

After having their first baby, we take a look at their adorable love story.

Rafa and Xisca reportedly started dating in 2005.

(Image: Getty)

Rafa and Xisca grew up together in their hometown of Palma de Majora in Spain and though they were friends first, they began dating in 2005.

For years, fans were waiting for the couple to make their love official and in October 2019 they married at Majorca’s La Fortaleza castle.

The pair exchanged vows in front of 350 including A-listers Tom Hiddleston, Olivia Colman and Hugh Laurie and even the former king of Spain, Juan Carlos I.

Rafa and Xisca tied the knot on October 19, 2019 in Mallorca, Spain.

(Image: Fundacion Rafa Nadal via Getty Images)

The beautiful bride wore a haute-couture design by Rosa Clará featuring a jewel neckline and long sleeves that also incorporated Art Deco-inspired French lace with delicate patterning, flower motifs and microbeading on the meticulously hand-embroidered fabric.

At the end of 2019, Rafael shared an unseen photo of himself and his wife to mark his “great memory” of the year with fans.

“Now to say goodbye to all of you, I leave you with this last great memory of 2019 and I take this opportunity to wish you all the best for 2020!” he captioned the snap at the time.

Unlike other wives and girlfriends of athletes, Xisca prefers to stay out of the limelight.

“It’s not a world I want to be part of, nor do I think Rafa would have chosen to be with a woman who looked for that in life,” she previously said.

Xisca has also spoken about why she doesn’t tend to sit in the stands at many of her husband’s matches.

“He needs his space when he is competing, and just the idea of me hanging around and waiting on his needs all day tires me out,” she told The Telegraph in 2011.

“It would asphyxiate me. And then he would have to be worrying about me… No. If I followed him everywhere, I think there’s a risk we might stop getting along.”

Loading the player...

Whilst she isn’t active on social media, Xisca devotes her time to her work.

The brunette beauty graduated with a degree in business management and administration from the University of Palma and in 2016, became the Director of Social Integration for The Rafael Nadal Foundation.

However, now she and Rafa have embarked on their next adventure – parenthood!

The tennis star confirmed the news that he and Xisca were growing their family at a press conference in Palma de Mallorca back in June, adding that he will also compete at Wimbledon.

Xisca has been the Director of Social Integration for The Rafael Nadal Foundation since 2016.

(Image: Getty)

“If all goes well, I’m going to be a father,” Rafa said at the time, before adding why he’s keeping the news on the down-low.

“I’m already exposed enough in my professional life. My loved ones and I like to live with a low profile,” he explained.

“I don’t know what will change in my life because I don’t have experience, but I don’t think it will change my professional life,” he added of becoming a father.

Back in 2017, Rafa shared his family plans to The Sun and how it will work with his demanding athletic career.

“I would love to have children: boys, girls… I’m a person who loves kids and I’m a family guy. But also I tell you that the reality is, the years keep passing, I would like to start to do all of this when my sporting life determines it. I think it’s also above all about looking after the kids. I don’t know if it [travelling] throughout the year and having children] is ideal.”

Stealing a smooch in the stands in 2020.

(Image: Getty)

And the gorgeous couple has had a baby boy!

They keep their life very private and have not publicly announced the name but reports suggest it’s Rafael Nadal Perelló.

He was born on October 8, 2022. On the 13th, Rafael took to Twitter to express his gratitude towards his fans.

“Hello everyone. After a few days and many messages of love, I just wanted to thank you all!” he wrote in Spanish.

“We are very happy and all very well! A big hug.”

Sneak peak at their son.

(Credit: Instagram)

Related stories