Nadal joins Australia's Margaret Court as the only player to win 11 titles at the same major.
Roland-Garros hosted a final that told two stories, with Nadal easing to victory after surrendering only one set all tournament long, while Thiem looked noticeably short on stamina, particularly in the later stages of Sunday's decider.
Austria's Dominic Thiem strained every sinew trying to cling on to the 32-year-old Spaniard and at times even gained a precarious foothold in his first Grand Slam final.
For the second year running Federer opted against playing at the French Open to spare his knees, but will be favorite to win Wimbledon next month and re-establish a four Grand Slam gap over Nadal on the list of all-time collectors of major titles.
The pair beat American duo Sam Querrey and Jack Sock in two sets, recording a 6-4 1-6 (10-5) victory to give Team Europe a 9-3 lead.
Last year, he lost 15-13 in the fifth set of his last-16 tie against Gilles Muller.
In a 10-minute second game of the second set, Thiem suffered more trauma.
And entering Sunday, there was at least some reason to believe that Thiem could make things interesting in the final.
Nadal won his sixth French Open title by defeating Federer once more in Paris.
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Souami, a father of two who immigrated from an undisclosed country in Africa in 1996, had purchased the sole winning ticket. Oh, my God.' It's like when you see a "Tom and Jerry" cartoon: The heart goes boom boom boom boom".
In a world bustling with ball-maulers yearning to topple euphorically onto Roland Garros clay or merely stand and raise the arms skyward in triumph just once in life, Rafael Nadal did so Sunday for a preposterous 11th time, even while choosing the standing option for only the second.
Thiem broke back immediately as he continued to go for his shots, and he saw off a break point to hold for 2-2.
Yet Nadal needed all his extraordinary resilience when his left hand locked up early in the third set.
"Honestly, I never expected that one day I would play the finals here so I am still really happy".
So what happens when you pair these two greats of the game together in a doubles match?
He saved three break points in his first service game but a wayward backhand ensured Nadal took the fourth.
Thiem has beaten Nadal twice recently, so an upset was not out of the question.
The problem for the 24-year-old was that his serve wasn't co-operating.
Nadal said afterwards that he feared the worst when the cramp struck: 'There was a tough moment in the third set, I was very very scared but that's sport.
But he could not match Nadal's point-by-point consistency and intensity on Sunday.