Rafael Nadal's uncle is Miguel Angel Nadal, a former captain and defender of both Barcelona and the Spanish national team. He was one of best paid players in Spain and not only he had the money to sponsor his nephew, as he also had the interest, as he was himself a former tennis regional champion when he was a kid. I don't know if Rafa needed his uncle's help during his teenage years, but if he needed, I'm pretty sure his uncle gladly helped him financially.
Which is why I always found it odd that Nadal became a Real Madrid tard.
I mean Barcelona wasn't just one of the clubs of his uncle's. It was the career defining signature club of his. That's where he made his name and fame. The very name Nadal was synonymous with Barcelona until 2005. In fact it's kinda funny that not the tennis player Nadal but the footballer Nadal is already a GOAT (was part of Cruyff's legendary Barcelona squad a.k.a "dream team").
So I'm kinda taken aback by how Rafa decided to go against FC Barça & take the side of the archenemy Madrid. Must have been that old trout he loves to kiss, queen Sofia, who may have swayed Rafa. She must have given him a royal stiffy during a couple of their encounters and embraces. And so he ends up taking the queen's side of the clasico
divide and turns his back on the team that gave him tennis life. Ungrateful bugger.