James Lawton: Beckham of the bullring misses the point

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The Independent Football

Bullfight aficionados, if there are any left, can breathe again if they believed that the fine matador Francisco Ordonez, grandson of the great Antonio, was being described as the David Beckham of the Plaza de Toros.

Bullfight aficionados, if there are any left, can breathe again if they believed that the fine matador Francisco Ordonez, grandson of the great Antonio, was being described as the David Beckham of the Plaza de Toros.

The comparison, it turns out, was with with another member of that great bullfighting clan ... Cayetano Rivera Ordonez.

Cayetano is building up to a stab at the glory of the blood and sand via a glamorous lifestyle that has figured highly in what passes for tabloid journalism in Spain. Hence, no doubt, the reference to the football celebrity.

Francisco, on the other hand, has been plying his trade for some years now. It was a lucky thing to be in Ronda when he took his alternativa, the bull-fighter's initiation. He wore white shoes but other comparisons with the Beckham style were less obvious. After dispatching his bull, he rode in an open-topped Chevrolet and the whole hill-top town, the traditional home of bullfighting, went mad.

He would never earn the money or the fame of Beckham - and maybe not even of the glamorous Cayetano. But how much would either of them give right now for the cheers the young bullfighter heard that night?

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