Julián López Escobar
El Juli in Las Ventas (Madrid, Spain)
|Birth name||Julián López Escobar|
October 3, 1982 |
San Blas, Madrid, Spain
|Début novillero||March 16, 1997|
|Alternativa||September 18, 1998|
After he caped his first bull at the young age of nine, Julián's wealthy family enrolled him in the Madrid Academy of Tauromachy. After years of studying, he moved to Mexico to perform in bullfights, as Spain required novilleros (junior matador) to be of at least 16 years of age.
On March 16, 1997, at the age of 14, Julián made his bullfighting debut in Texcoco, Mexico. He finished with a standing ovation and received two ears. In bullfighting, the detached ears of the dead bull(s) are trophies, which are awarded for an above-average bullfight.
Approximately one year later, on September 18, 1998, Julián received his alternativa in Nîmes, France. This marked the passage from being a novillero to a full-fledged matador de toros (senior bullfighter). At age 15, he became the youngest professional bullfighter in the history of the sport. Julián led a toast to his father, a former novillero who was forced into retirement after losing his right eye in a bullfight.
By the age of 17, Julián had become the highest-paid bullfighter in history. Not only did his good looks and affluent background add to his popularity, but his skills in the ring were unmatched. Julián often placed his own banderillas (spiked banners), which is typically the job of the banderillero. This requires the same amount of training as becoming a matador, and can be accomplished only by highly talented matadors. Additionally, in three out of his 134 performances in 1999, he was the lone matador. This meant killing all six bulls during the fight, rather than the usual two, by himself. This feat requires great skill and stamina, which further enhanced his reputation.
During the San Fermin festival in Pamplona, Spain in 2010, he was injured and had to be hospitalized after a bull gored him in the scrotum.
He married Rosario Domecq Márquez, daughter of Pedro Domecq de la Riva and Rosario Marquez Amilibia, on October 20, 2007, in the chapel of the Convent of Santa Catalina in Santo Domingo de Jerez de la Frontera. On 6 September 2011, they became the parents of twins, a girl named Rosario and a boy named Fernando. On 26 March 2014, they had a daughter, Isabel.