U.S. Open runner-up Rafael Nadal’s autobiography, “Rafa” was just released in the United States. Nadal purportedly wrote the book with journalist John Carlin. Given Nadal’s — shall we say — inarticulateness, it’s safe to say that the final version of the text was heavily vetted by Carlin. In fact, we at Pop Culture Has AIDS have been sent an early draft of the manuscript, which the ever-bashful and polite Nadal wrote himself. Enjoy this look inside the mind of a great athlete.
By Rafael Nadal
Dedicated to my Uncle Toni and to my favorite towel, Towely the Towel (thank you for all the wipes)
Hello, everyone. My name is Rafa. I just a humble boy from Majorca, small island of Spain. I very normal. I win the tennis a lot. I just get very lucky. I get all the breaks.
I play tennis very much. I like tennis, but I like fútbol and video games more. I have a PS3. It is very fun. My uncle Toni says I shouldn’t play it so much, but I like it.
People say I am very good at tennis, but I not so sure. I am just a humble boy from small town. I do OK, but not so great. I win sometimes. My parents raise me to be humble.
I play Roger Federer very many times, and when I win, I say to him that I very sorry because I know he wants to win very much. Roger is greatest ever. I am just an OK player from Majorca. I very lucky to ever beat Roger. But I get very lucky many many times. When I win, Roger cries.
My uncle Toni makes me fly coach. I don’t mind because I am so normal and humble. Plus the flight ladies in coach say they like my biceps. I don’t know. I think they are just normal biceps. I will never leave Majorca. My mama lives there, and I want to live there forever.
One time when I beat Roger on the grass, I lean in to him and I say “I so sorry, you deserve to win. You are the best of ever, and you are much much better than me. I honored just to be on the court with you. I get very lucky.” And he whisper to me, “Fuck you, you falsely modest, cocksucking, motherfucking cunt.” I not know what any of those words mean, so he repeat them in 7 languages. I tell him I not speak any language very well because I am from small town in Majorca and I go to one-room schoolhouse with all the boys and girls in town. Then I give him hug.
People say to me, “Your forehand is very good. You put so much spin on ball.” I guess so, but everything I am I owe to Uncle Toni. He sometimes make me stop playing fútbol with poor little Majorcan village boys and practice my tennis. I relate to village boys because I am like one of them. They say I am local hero but I am no hero. Just normal person. Like you.
When I go to sleep at night I say prayer for Uncle Toni. I say prayer for mama and papa. I say prayer for all Majorca. I say prayer for Roger because he is best ever. I say prayer for Andrew Ryan, my character in BioShock on PlayStation 3. I say prayer for tennis strings to help me do my best to make Uncle Toni proud. I say prayer for me to stay humble. I say prayer that Uncle Toni bring me chocolate chip cookies for treat before beddy bye.
My name is Rafa. I love you. Goodnight.