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Top Ten World’s Greatest and Famous Matadors in History

Here’s a list of all-time most famous and greatest bullfighters in history.

1.) Pedro Romero

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Pedro Romero Martínez was a legendary Spanish matador o0f Ronda, Spain. Born in November 1754, Pedro belongs to a family of bullfighters. His grandfather, father and two brothers were also toreros. It is said that he had killed 5,558 bulls up to his retirement in 1799 without a scar. The portrait above of Romero was painted by Goya. He died in February 1839.

2.) Manolete

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Another great and one of the most famous bullfighters in history is Manolete of Spain. He died following a goring in the right upper leg in 1947. His real name is Manuel Laureano Rodríguez Sánchez but better known as Manolete. Sanchez, who died at the age of 30, is considered by some to be the greatest bullfighter of all time.

3.) Cayetano Ordóñez

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Cayetano Ordóñez was a famous bullfighter from Spain and the founder of the Ordoñez family of bullfighters. He was born in January 1904 in Ronda and died in Madrid in 1961. Ordoñez the director of the Lisbon School of Bullfighting and died in Madrid. He is nicknamed Niño dela Palma and in 1923 he debuted in Ronda and was the first matador to be carried in triumph through the main gates of the Maestranza.

4.) Paquirri- Francisco Rivera Pérez

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Francisco Rivera Perez or more popularly known as Paquirri was a famous matador of Spain. He was born in March 1948 and during a bullfight in Cordoba in September 1984, he was gored by a bull and died while he was being moved to the hospital of Córdoba. His two sons with Carmen Ordoñez are both popular matadors.

5.) Juan Belmonte Garcia

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Juan Belmonte Garcia of Spain is one of the most famous matadors in the world. His technique in the ring revolutionized bullfighting and remains the standard by which bullfighters are judged. This bullfighter is regarded by many to have been the greatest matador of all time. He is one of the most daring matadors whose technique of standing erect and nearly motionless, and always stayed within inches of the bull, resulted to Belmonte’s frequent goring. Belmonte fought 109 corridas in 1919, a number not matched by any matador before, until the 1965 bullfight season.

6.) Enrique Robles

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Enrique Robles is another well-known champion torero, both in Spain and Mexico. He was from Madrid Spain and is more popularly known as Chicorrito. He had been gored many times and had 70 scars and by 1927, Robles had killed more than 1,000 bulls. He also toured the US from 1902 to 1929 giving bullfights.

7.) Carmelo Torres Fregoso

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Carmelo Torres Fregoso was born Bernardo del Carmen Fregoso Cázares in July 1927 in Jalisco, Mexico. In a span of 37 uninterrupted years, he is one of the longest careers as a matador in the world. He was also a busiman, author, journalist and TV producer. Torres was the founder of “Lucy Venetian Blinds” (1952-1982 and manager for Levolor-Lorentzen in South America (1969-1982). He died of Parkinson’s disease in Caracas, Venezuela in 2003.

8.) Antonio Ordóñez Araujo

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Antonio Ordóñez Araujo, one of the Ordoñez family of bullfighters was born in Madrid, Spain in February 1932. This famous Spanish matador was one of the top bullfighters of his time. He had encountered more than 3,000 bulls in his career and retired in 1988.  A monument of Ordoñez was built at the gates of the La Malaguita bullring in Málaga, the world’s oldest bullring. He also starred in a few films and was a long time friend of Ernest Hemingway. Antonio died of lung cancer in 1998.

9.) Curro Romero

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Curro Romero was born Francisco Romero López in December 1933. This famous Spanish bullfighter from Seville, Spain began his career as a professional bullfighter at the age of 20 in 1954. His career as matador is one of the longest in bullfighting. Curro retired at the age of 66 after 42 years of profession. A bronze statue of Curro was erected outside the bullring in Seville.

10.) Jaime Bravo

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One of the most famous and controversial matadors is Jaime Bravo of Mexico. He was born in September 1932. He is famous for his death defying style and numerous relationships with women and Hollywood starlets. Bravo, a handsome-looking torero, was a bullfighter for many years and could have been a movie star if not for his untimely death due to car accident in 1970.

See also


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