Spanish bullfighter El Joli, 40, announces his retirement

Spanish bullfighter El Joli, 40, announces his retirement

Renowned Spanish bullfighter "El Juli" announced on Thursday that he will retire from bullfighting at the end of the season. The 41-year-old El Juli, born as Julian Lopez Escobar in Madrid on October 3, 1982, shared the decision on his Instagram page, stating, "After 25 years since my 'alternativa' (the ceremony when a young bullfighter becomes a matador), I inform you of my decision to stop bullfighting at the end of the season."

He clarified that it's not retirement but the end of a wonderful phase. He described bullfighting as a demanding and challenging profession but expressed his desire to dedicate himself from now on to his family and other interests.

El Juli rose to fame at an early age and was considered a prodigy in the bullfighting arenas. He was initially barred from participating in bullfighting competitions in Spain and France until 1998 due to laws prohibiting minors under sixteen from engaging in such activities. However, he shone in Mexico and became a star there.

He remains hugely popular among fans and has maintained his popularity since his teenage years. In his statement, he expressed gratitude to the game's doctors who treated him 18 times due to recurring injuries.

El Juli is regarded as one of the most important Spanish bullfighters of his era, and a dedication ceremony was held in his honor in 1998 at the Nimes Arena in France.