Her husband’s name is Rafael Nadal, her eldest son Rafa Nadal and her nephew Rafa Nadal. Maria Barceló is a businesswoman, “influencer” and also a political aunt of the tennis player, although her name and relationship, she says, “I’ve never taken advantage of it.”

She arrives on time for the appointment, smiling and without any taboo subject even though she makes it clear that her privacy “is sacred.” Only a year and a half after opening a profile on Instagram “to be tested”, it now has more than one hundred thousand followers, dozens of firms with which it collaborates and has a communication manager to serve the media that demand it.

She also had to hire a “social manager” to manage her social networks, but in the end “the followers realize that you are no longer behind and what they are looking for is closeness.”

Who is María Barceló?

I studied Law and later I passed the examinations as a Justice officer and they gave me a place in the Courts of Manacor, where I worked for more than sixteen years until my young son was born. At that moment I decided to quit because it was impossible for me to reconcile with the guards and the night shifts. I took a risk and spent time taking care of my children. Then my younger sister came with the idea of ​​converting an old family house into an agritourism and I joined the adventure. Today it is managed by an Australian couple and we are very happy with how they exploit the business. After this, I found that I had a lot of time to myself and I thought about what I could do at work but that was related to the world of fashion, which has always fascinated me. This is how I told my son to open an Instagram profile for me without having any idea how it worked and I started uploading “looks” from “low cost” firms or from small shops that are here in Palma de Mallorca.

A year and a half later, he has more than one hundred thousand followers on Instagram … Do you think it is the “Nadal effect”?

I do not think so, because many of my followers do not know that I am their aunt. My profile is very white and I do not teach anything personal, beyond my children and very occasionally. The only photo on my wall with Rafa is from when he won the Roland Garros tournament again in 2020. I uploaded it to the cloud because it was a way of saying ‘hey, we are here after the whole pandemic and it seems that we are going to get out of this’. It seemed to me that it was a nice way to celebrate. But I have never taken advantage of his name. I never would. Reaching that figure of one hundred thousand followers is the result of hard and constant daily work, and it is a great responsibility because there are some brands that trust me and I have to fulfill these contracts, and I also owe myself to my followers, to whom I always answer one by one.

Does it weigh you down to be part of the clan of the most awarded Spanish tennis player in history?

Not at all, it’s very easy. I have been in this wonderful family for more than two decades and I have always felt very loved and respected. It is true that I cannot avoid being related to Rafa and being asked about him, but my work is above all else. It is very nice what I do, to give visibility to a woman’s profile, the 40-year-old and over, who takes care of herself and who cares about her image. Instagram is full of young girls who show us products and articles that, in reality, can only be purchased by women with more years and a more optimal and comfortable economic situation. I think this is what I like and the key to the success of my social profile.

Do your niece Maribel Nadal and Rafa’s wife, Mery Perelló follow you on Instagram?

Yeah right. They have a very different style from mine, but they are two super elegant girls. Maribel has a brutal class, and María Francisca dresses very well. The three of us are different women, but always ready to help us and support us in whatever we need.

Have you ever been told that “be careful, what are you going to do”, considering that discretion is the flag of the Nadal family?

This family has a very good thing and it is that nobody interferes in the lives of others. Note that Maribel has a lot of followers and no one has ever said anything to her. They know what I’m doing and that I’m doing very well, but that’s it. There has never been any reproach from the family.

Nor is it that you are to get into many gardens…

I never get into controversial or controversial topics, nor do I like to talk about politics in my public life. I don’t have a lot of naysayers or derogatory comments from my fans, and that’s satisfying.

So in your private life you don’t bite your tongue?

I am a woman with a lot of character. I will not hide it. The whole family has it and if we disagree with something we say it without cutting ourselves off. Our family gatherings are intense and fun.

Do rumors or the headlines of magazines and newspapers that talk about the family comment on these private moments?

Never. It is an innate rule. It seems to me a lack of respect that he is wondering all the time if you are going to get married, if you are going to have children, if you are pregnant, at home these issues are not discussed. My private life is mine, it’s settled. And it is the norm for everyone.

Have I ever heard you tell you at home that you are the wayward aunt?

What I am is the transgressive aunt. (Laughs) But little else.

Now that the Christmas dates are approaching. How are those meetings usually? Do Rafa Nadal’s tennis tournaments condition the Nadal family celebrations?

We are not going to travel to Abu Dhabi (Rafa has confirmed that he will return to the slopes on December 16 in the tournament to be held in the capital of the United Arab Emirates). We will stay in Porto Cristo to spend the holidays like a normal family. We will enjoy Christmas Eve and Christmas all together eating queen soup, turkey, cold cuts … and chocolate with ensaimada for dessert, this does not fail any year.

What will you put on your wish list for 2022?

Well, the truth is that I am still not sure where I am going to direct my future. The same goes further with my account and I gain new followers, that one day I get up and decide to close it because I am tired or overwhelmed. Right now I can only say that I am a fully happy woman. I not only like this job, but it also gives me life. So what I want to ask for next year is that there is health for everyone, I also work and that we can live in the old normality, because it seemed that the coronavirus was over and not.

Thanks: The photograph that illustrates the interview is part of a session carried out by the photographer Juan Perez with makeup and hair styling Erika Estrela and wardrobe of Lola Casademunt, C&A Premium and So Kool Mallorca, with the collaboration of Hotel Cappuccino Cort, the Nivia Born Boutique and the organization of Marilena Estarellas.

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