Rafael Nadal thanked his family and team after becoming the first man to capture the same Grand Slam title eight times with victory in the French Open final.
Nadal claimed his 12th major with a straight-sets win over his Spanish compatriot David Ferrer, who was playing in his first Grand Slam final at the age of 31.
Victory was all the more special after the left-hander from Mallorca had taken seven months off to rest his troublesome knees.
"Thanks to everyone in my family and team," said the 27-year old. "Without their support, especially when I was out of action, this would have been impossible.
"Thanks also to everyone who sent me messages on Twitter and Facebook. They all gave me positive energy for today."
Toni Nadal, his uncle and coach, admitted his triumph was truly memorable after the setbacks of the last year which had seen his nephew miss the Olympics, US and Australian Opens.
"After all the problems we have had, this title is really special," he said.
"To win this is just incredible. Many people talk of his physique, his mentality, but his first quality is his touch. It's a gift."
Meanwhile, Ferrer vowed to keep fighting to break the Grand Slam stranglehold of Nadal, Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray.
"I enjoyed the two weeks here. I congratulate Rafa, he's the best," said Ferrer.
"But I will try my best to have another chance to play in a final and win a Grand Slam. This tournament is very special to me."
Nadal admitted he had initially been frightened when the final was briefly interrupted by a masked protester carrying a flare.
A bare-chested man with 'KIDS RIGHT' written on his stomach, wearing a white face mask and with a red flare in his hand leapt out of the crowd near the umpire's chair and onto Court Philippe Chatrier after Nadal had gone 5-1 up in the second set.
He was not far away from Nadal but was quickly tackled by security staff and wrestled to the ground just off the court.
Nadal said: "It was a very quick moment. I felt a little bit scared at the first moment because I didn't see what was going on.
"I just turned and I saw a guy with some fire, so I got a little bit scared at the first second. But then I saw that it's one of those things that nobody can prevent.
"I just can say thank you very much to all the security guys. They did amazing work. They were very quick and they were very courageous."