Biography of Rafael o "Rafael de Paula" Soto Moreno (1940-VVVV)

Bullfighter Spanish, born in Jerez de la Frontera (Cádiz) from February 11, 1940. On the planet of the bulls, it is known by the nickname of "Rafael de Paula". Considered to be one of the more irregular bullfighters of all time, capable of starring in an afternoon the much-talked-about success and the most dismal failure, it is touched by a brilliant inspiration that, on rare occasions, has placed the spell of his Gypsy toreo in the highest artistic dimensions of bullfighting.

Born in the popular Jerez district of Santiago, breathed from child bullfighting atmosphere surrounding him, although he/she showed no exercise this precocity that often characterized the vocation of almost all the great figures of bullfighting. Indeed, it did not begin to be trained in the handling of percale to sixteen years of age, when, still as a mere amateur, gave some sets of capote in the pastures of the livestock Fermín Bohórquez. A year later, encouraged by the favorable judgment of those who witnessed these swithchgear, he/she decided to put his first suit of lights; Therefore he/she chose as a backdrop the secular Majesty of the plaza de toros de Ronda (Málaga), whose sand crossed on May 9, 1957.

After devoting the rest of this season to be tested in several novilladas without picadors, debuted with the varilargueros contest on May 2, 1958, on the sands of his native village, where he/she faced the bulls from don Juan Belmonte accompanied on posters by the young bullfighters Antonio González and Juan García ("Mondeño"). The own Juan Belmonte, from the vantage point of its tauromaca wisdom, encouraged from the outset the fledgling career of "Rafael de Paula", who saw a bullfighter budding able to move, as he/she had done in his time, the artistic foundations of bullfighting.

With endorsements so grounded, Rafael Soto Moreno arose before the Seville fans the day 29 of June of 1959, and two and a half months later (namely 6 on September of that season) appeared for the first time before the severe public of Las Ventas (Madrid), where, in the company of the novilleros "Curro Puya" and Juan Vázquez, dispatched a closure of don Antonio Pérez of San Fernando (patched with a hat from the pastures of don Tomas Prieto lime). It went very wrong that afternoon to the young "Rafael de Paula", ushering the few moments of genius which was to offer to the Madrid fans in all of his professional career.

On September 9, 1960, after have intervened in a score of celebrations chopped throughout that season, he/she returned to Ronda sand there for its alternative. Arose sponsored by exceptional coletudo Madrid's Julio Aparicio Martínez, who, under the watchful eye of the brilliant Malaga Bullfighter Antonio Ordóñez Araujo, who appeared as a witness, gave way to the toricantano the crutch and the sword that had been tinkering and despenar to a horned marked with don Atanasio Fernández iron. True to expectation that this ceremony had risen in round, "Rafael de Paula" holds a PhD with two brilliant work, winning with an earpiece from each of his two enemies Appendix.However, and despite this lucky debut in the top ranks, the new Bullfighter just signed contracts in the campaigns of 1960 and 1961, which was plunged into a deep slump that began to look to on June 28, 1964. That afternoon, before the delirium of their countrymen jerezanos, locked in solitary with six bulls from the breeding of don Salvador Guardiola, to desorejar to the first two and get a win in each of the remaining four. It began thus to an irregular and limited career as a regional figure of bullfighting, almost always confined to the Andalusian environment, and took fourteen years to appear before the first love of the world to confirm the validity of his degree of doctor in bullfighting.

Eventually, on May 28, 1974 decided to cross the Madrid Coliseum arena to confirm their choice. He/She was, at the time, sponsored by his countryman José Luis Fernández Feria ("José Luis Galloso"), who, in the presence of the ill-fated Avila matador Avelino Julio Robles Hernández("Julio Robles"), making the times of witness, empowered him to give you lidia and death to rapier to a morlaco black ribbon marked with the badge of don José Luis Osborne, that catered to the voice of Andadoso. Neither shone high that afternoon toreo "Rafael de Paula", although he/she brought out his pinch agitanado in an emotional remove that deserved the standing ovation from the audience.

With so little background in the Monumental de Las Ventas, on October 5 of that season of 1974 he/she returned to occur before the Madrid public but now in the sands of the small circus of Vista Alegre. The poster, topped, announcing also the appearance of the great Madrid sword (although accidentally born in Caracas) Antonio Mejías Jiménez ("Antonio Bienvenida"), who had surprisingly that afternoon and strangers to announce its final withdrawal from the active practice of bullfighting, in the course of a toast dedicated to another Bullfighter present in the square, his brother Ángel Luis. He/She completed the shortlisting the charismatic Seville sword Francisco Romero López ("Curro Romero"), who from then on would be present in many settings offered "Paula", under certain similarities in the conception and execution of the bullfighting of both matadors: artistic interpretation, sudden inspiration, duende flamenco, southern grace and torn hondura (but also widespread apathy(, inexcusable stupidity with steel, and fears and very difficult to justify fatigue in those who seek to deserving the expensive title of great figure of bullfighting). Before these two giants of Cúchares art from the second half of the 20th century, "Rafael de Paula" enjaretó his first enemy such sets of coating and crutch, which the fans Madrileña, giving terrible execution of Supreme luck to oblivion, awarded to the Cadiz right-handed with two ears of the horned.

In the wake of this resounding victory, Rafael Soto Moreno began dating the regional circuit to become a constant reference in the main fairs of the country. However (and while it had the support of such solvents as the writer José Bergamínfans, who raised his toreo to mystical heights, writing about "silent music" that sprang from the deceptions of Paula), the right-handed Jerez never came to occupy a privileged place among the cimeros positions of the top ladder, sometimes because of his poor handling of the steel, others to its brittle health (has been intervened surgically repeatedly, the bone fragility of legs), and almost all of them to dread that overwhelmed him as soon as they not thrown him buoyant Bull (left the live bull in the square more than once, unable to lend to even give a muleta, even in the very Monumental de Las Ventas). Thus, it is not surprising that this majestic languor that very afternoon in afternoon, knows print the flight of his cloak is overshadowed in the minds of many fans by the opaque reiteration of his indolence and thick lumps out of their fear.

Among the few memorable tasks has starred in "Rafael de Paula", it is required to mention that carved in its border Jerez on May 17, 1979, against a bull of the iron of the marques de Domecq that catered to the silky voice. Fans rave reached as high levels, that thanks to "Paula" not only awarded his inspiration with both ears and the tail of the burel, they set up in the village Bullring a bronze plaque where left eternal memory of that masterful work. Also made deep impression the work of crutch that executed September 28, 1987 in Madrid the bull Corchero, raised in rangelands of Martínez Benavides, who was crowned with the earphone award due to the multitude of occasions went to kill the right-handed. After listening to two notices, and amid general fears that the superb slaughter will be veiled by the return of the bull to the pens, "Paula" was how the bull soured on the sand, circumstance that took advantage of the Bullfighter for sitting, exhausted, on the rack of the beast, a plastic set of unsurpassed depth, emotion and beauty.

Subsequently, increasingly irregular in his career, "Rafael de Paula" has moved away from the arenas, distancing accentuated by the judicial process, and the subsequent enrollment in prison of the Jerez sword (apparently, it was proven that Rafael Soto Moreno, suffering from jealousy, he/she had hired some Rovers so that they was a brutal beating to his wife). This romantic episode claimed fictional dyes when the bullfighter, once issued the execution of the sentence, was detained in the same alley of the square that had just fight. To his release from prison, "Paula" has returned to the arenas to fight in rare occasions.

In March 2006, when the economic harassments and personal, immersed in a deep crisis, situation were in a particularly difficult moment, he/she received a warm tribute in Las Ventas for which all locations were sold out and that could be a very interesting hand in hand between Joselito and Morante de la Puebla.


POSADA, Juan BARRANCO. Of Paquiro Paula. In the corner of the South (Madrid: Espasa-Calpe, 1987).

BERGAMÍN GUTIÉRREZ, José. The quiet music of bullfighting.

J.R. Fernández Cano.