Almost a month after crashing into the zalduendos in Olivenza, Emilio de Justo will represent Extremadura in the poster for the Almendralejo spring bullfight on Saturday, April 2. Announced two afternoons in Seville and four in Madrid, he faces the cycle of the great fairs turned into one of the main claims of the best posters.
-After everything that has happened, how does one get used to a season full of contracts on both sides of the Atlantic.
–It is very nice to look back and see the past full of enthusiasm, work and effort. There were times when the only thing that moved me was my belief in myself, very few people believed that I could get to where I am. In addition to having talent and conditions, you also have to have that point of luck on key days.
–The two great milestones of his career are two big doors of Las Ventas in two autumn fairs. This year lockdown or San Isidro?
-Throughout these last years, all my preparation has been aimed at becoming the bullfighter that I am right now and that has allowed me to achieve the reward of those two big gates. Madrid is the dream, the illusion and the goal of all bullfighters. You know that the public will be waiting for you and that everything will be much more difficult. Even so, I know that people will know how to recognize my dedication and willingness from the moment I go out on the ring.
-Almost without realizing it you have become a bullfighter in Madrid, what do you think is due?
-I have always thought that my bullfighting could be liked in Madrid, a very serious, very sober square, which likes real bullfighting and dedication. If you find a bullfighter who tries to do a good bullfight, who tries to position himself well and show the truth about him, the Madrid public knows how to see it. Another thing is that to succeed in Madrid many other circumstances must be squared. Madrid demands a lot but it recognizes the seriousness and sobriety that I believe my bullfighting has.
-What many did not expect is to see him succeed in Seville. How it has managed to reach the public of La Maestranza.
-It is a pride to see how a place like Seville, with which I have dreamed so much, values my work so generously. It is not easy for the Sevillian public to identify so quickly with a bullfighter who had never been there before. He pushed me to victory with tremendous faith. I felt as if he were a bullfighter raised in Seville. During all the time he had the feeling that they were treating me with a special affection, which I can only thank from the bottom of my heart. I was aware that the fans of Seville have a very marked sensitivity and that they like a very characteristic type of bullfighting. For this reason, listening to that resounding olé, which can only be heard in the Maestranza, still moves me to this day.
–You have forged your career fighting all kinds of encastes and ranches. It comforts him to face, more and more times, more commercial farms.
-I admit that my first great triumphs, the ones that have allowed me to get out of the situation I was in, have been with hard runs. I owe my revival as a bullfighter to France and to so many fairs in the south-west of France where that big, complicated bull comes out that many don’t want. In France I had to deal with stud farms such as Hoyo de la Gitana, Victorino, Palha, Baltasar Ibán or La Quinta but later it was seen that due to my concept and my way of feeling bullfighting I have shown that I can fit in with other types of stud farms . They are not easier bulls but they have more class and allow you to do the bullfighting that you have inside.
-The last time a celebration was held in the Plaza de Cáceres, you showed your commitment to the Cáceres fans by killing two bulls with a broken collarbone. Does it hurt to see Cáceres without bulls?
-It hurts me a lot. As a local from Cáceres and a bullfighter, it pains me that my city, the one that raised me, in whose bullfighting school I was trained, the one that has seen me grow up as a bullfighter, is unfairly deprived of enjoying the bullfight. I made my lights debut in the Plaza de Cáceres, there I took the alternative and there I have spent thousands of hours training, while dreaming of getting as far as I have and seeing her now in the state she is in angers me. The freedom of Cáceres fans is being curtailed when it comes to exercising their right to go to the bulls. The worst thing is the impotence of knowing that you can’t do anything. The treatment that the current government of Cáceres is giving to the world of the bull is being very harsh.
-On Saturday you fight in Almendralejo and you will drag many of your supporters from all over the province up there. What do you feel when you see the famous banner ‘Cáceres wants bulls’ appear?
-I feel very proud to look at the line and see that banner. It is very nice that the people who have known me all my life, who have supported me through thick and thin, now accompany me to so many squares in Spain. It is comforting to see the rebellion of those who, through that banner, claim that Cáceres wants bulls and that we have always been a bullfighting land. A fair in Cáceres without bulls is not the same, it loses much of its charm, as well as being an important economic driver.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.