Connect with the most influential people in Seville, Spain

 

The historic city of Seville, located in the picturesque region of Andalusia, ranks alongside the most beautiful in the whole of Spain.

 

But there’s more to the 3,000-year-old city than mere beauty. It is also home to a host of well-known figures, who all have Seville to thank for playing a part in their success.

 

Although temperatures can get very warm – particularly during the summer months, when it can even become a little uncomfortable – sport plays a major role in the south-western Spanish city.

 

Bullfighting might be frowned upon by many but it’s a longstanding tradition in Seville, with the Plaza de Toros de la Maestranza among the finest arenas in the country to watch the sport.

 

Football is also hugely popular in Seville, with two top-flight clubs hailing from the city. Sevilla FC and Real Betis are fierce rivals and when the two come together for the Seville derby the games are often explosive.

 

Contact Diego MaradonaBoth clubs have had some shrewd coaches and wonderfully gifted players down the years, including arguably the greatest footballer of all time Diego Maradona, who played for Sevilla FC between 1992 and 1993.

 

These days Los Rojiblancos boast several star players including Malian striker Frédéric Kanouté and Spain internationals Álvaro NegredoJosé Antonio Reyes and Jesús Navas, while the current manager is former Real Madrid midfielder Míchel.

 

Real Madrid’s current right-back Sergio Ramos was born in the city, as was Carlos Marchena, who now plies his trade with Villarreal.

 

As for Sevilla FC’s great rivals Real Betis, located just a couple of miles away at the Estadio Benito Villamarín, they boast the likes of BeñatJorge Molina and Paraguay striker Roque Santa Cruz.

 

It’s little surprise that the city has produced its fair share of bullfighting stars, inspired by the legendary Juan Belmonte, who was born in Seville and is regarded by many as the greatest matador of all time. Sadly Belmonte is no longer with us, but one bullfighting icon still alive is 79-year-old Curro Romero. So good at his profession was Romero that a bronze statue of the Camas-born star can be found outside the Plaza de Toros de la Maestranza.

 

Emilio Muñoz is another bullfighting Sevillano who also starred in two Madonna music videos, while José Miguel Arroyo Delgado was born in Madrid but became a professional bullfighter in Seville at the age of 16.

 

Contact Antonio Jiménez PentinelSticking with sport and Antonio Jiménez Pentinel is well known in the city for his track and field exploits, while Fátima Madrid is a former freestyle swimmer.

 

A few actors and actresses were also born in Seville. Juan Diegohas appeared on stage, in television and film productions since the fifties; Carmen Sevilla made her film debut a decade earlier; Paco Leónis a famous comic actor known across Spain; Paz Vegastarred in ‘10 Items or Less’ alongside multi award-winning actor Morgan Freeman, while Verónica Sánchez rose to prominence after featuring in the Spanish television drama ‘Los Serrano’.

 

Conchita Bautista, aged 75, is also known in Spain as a singer and actress. However, Eurovision Song Contest fans will know her as the woman who represented her native country in 1961 and 1965.

 

Three more singers from Seville form the Spanish boy band Fondo Flamenco. The group featuring Alejandro Astola Soto, Antonio M.Ríos Sánchez and Rafael Ruda Santiago became a big hitwith songs including ‘Escúchamemujer’, which has over 15 million hits on YouTube.

 

As Sevilla is such a beautiful city, it’s no surprise that one of its residents is a previous winner of the ‘Miss Spain’ accolade. Eva Maria Gonzalez, who previously dated Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas, was named Miss Spain 2003 and went on to compete in the Miss Universe competition later that year.

 

The city is also famous for its university, which is one of the top-ranked in the country and has a present student body of over 50,000.

 

American screenwriter Stephen Sommers attended the university before going on to make films including ‘The Mummy’ and ‘Van Helsing’; Spanish journalist Raquel Martínez Rabanal also went there, as did former Deputy Prime Minister of the Spanish Government Alfonso Guerra.

 

Seville might not be the first city most people think of when Spain is mentioned, but that’s certainly not the case for the aforementioned individuals.

 

By: Robert Swan

 

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