Spanish football legend Joaquin faces a EUR-60,000 fine after he illegally jumped into a bullring after his matador friend egged him on.
The incident took place following a bullfight at Seville’s famed Maestranza bullring on Sunday, 1st May.
Bullfighter Antonio Ferrera wanted to dedicate his performance to his pal Joaquin, who he knew was in the audience for his fight.
He can be seen in this video encouraging Joaquin to jump the fence and tread the sand, which the 40-year-old Real Betis captain seems hesitant to do at first.
But Ferrera – who hails from Extremadura, in west-central Spain – can be heard telling him: “You’re also a bullfighter. Jump into the bullring, I’ll pay your fine.”
Joaquin then jumps the barrier to the applause of the audience and lands in the bullring, where he exchanges pleasantries with Ferrera for a few short moments.
The bullfighter then hugs Joaquin and gifts him his montera (matador’s hat) before the winger jumps back over the fence and back into the stands.
Despite his fleeting time in the ring and the clear lack of danger posed, local media are now reporting that the former Spain national team player could face a hefty fine.
According to a 1991 Spanish law on bullfighting, minor infractions are punishable with a fine worth EUR 30 to EUR 150, whereas serious infractions are punishable with a fine worth EUR 150 to an eye-watering EUR 60,000.
The infractions Joaquin could be found guilty of are unauthorised invasion of the bullring and disregard.
If convicted, the event may go down as one of the most expensive hugs in history.
Joaquin hails from El Puerto de Santa Maria in southern Spain and started his senior career in 1999. He earned 51 caps for Spain from 2002 to 2007.
He is now 40 years old but still plays regularly for top-flight Real Betis – the fifth most popular club in Spain, according to numerous surveys – which he also captains.
Growing up, the young Joaquin aspired to be a bullfighter.