FATHER of five-times Formula 1 world Champion Lewis Hamilton says he wants to see Spain's Fernando Alonso back on the Grand Prix circuit since the sport 'needs someone like him'. Anthony Hamilton,...
Rafa Nadal to marry fiancée Meri Perelló
By thinkSPAIN Team Thu, Jan 31, 2019
TENNIS ace Rafa Nadal is due to marry his fiancée Meri Perelló this autumn in their native Mallorca after having been together for 14 years.
Although the nation's glossies have dubbed their nuptials 'the wedding of the year', it is not yet known whether theirs will be a quiet ceremony for closest family and friends, or a huge, lavish affair – but the latter seems unlikely, given that the couple, whilst they have never hidden their relationship, has always been discreet about their private life.
María Francisca Perelló, 30 – who is always known as 'Meri', even though the media have often called her 'Xisca' in the past – comes from Rafa's home town of Manacor and graduated from the University of the Balearic Islands in Palma with a degree in economics and business administration before working for electricity board Endesa's PR department and then assistant manager in MAPFRE insurance, both in Mallorca's largest city.
Fluent in English as well as her native languages of Spanish and catalán, Meri works as head of strategy and institutional relations at the Rafael Nadal Foundation and is a close colleague of the former world number one's mother Ana María Parera, who is chairwoman of this charitable organisation.
Meri has been involved in developing a tennis training school for children – girls included – in Anantapur, India, since she was 21, and also leads social integration projects for her fiancé's foundation in Spain and India.
The couple are practically childhood sweethearts – Meri, originally a school friend of Rafa's sister, has been going out with Rafa since she was 16 and he was 18, and she is well known on the global tennis circuit as she accompanies her partner to matches all over the world.
Both are said to share a passion for watersports.
Rafa is said to be annoyed that his wedding plans are now all over the world's media, although the exact date has not been announced, meaning the couple may well manage to avoid excess hype before and during their big day.
The international tennis legend reportedly proposed to Meri in May when they were in Rome, but this has only just been revealed.
A local newspaper tried to get a comment from Rafa as he was getting out of his souped-up red Mercedes AMG after a 'long and serious' conversation with a friend in the passenger seat, and was just entering his house in Porto Cristo, still dressed in tennis gear.
He smiled at reporters and said: “You've come to ask me about the wedding, right? I know you have to do your jobs, but I'm not going to say anything.”
Journalists from El Diario de Mallorca did not get anywhere asking residents in the couple's home town, either.
None of Manacor's locals stopped in the street were willing to comment, and a shop assistant said: “I'm not going to say anything, because we greatly respect their privacy; it's thanks to this that he's just like any other resident whom we wave and say hello to when we pass in the street.”
But they were fairly sure the wedding would not take place in Manacor.
“Given how they're always seeking privacy, I don't think they'll be marrying in the local church,” another woman told El Diario de Mallorca.
You may also be interested in ...
More Sport content
WIMBLEDON semi-finalist Roberto Bautista Agut is one of two Spaniards still standing in the penultimate round, along with world number two Rafa Nadal – but he was supposed to be on his stag break in Ibiza from this...
FORMER Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas has defied all the odds and is back at work, starting the preseason with his current team Oporto – just two months after having stents fitted following a sudden heart attack...
CELEBRITY newlyweds Sergio Ramos and Pilar Rubio felt the earth move for them on their honeymoon – literally, they revealed on Twitter as they were due to return home. The Real Madrid defender, 33, and his TV reporter...