Madrid, Jan 18 (EFE).- Real Madrid legend and former Spain international Francisco ‘Paco’ Gento, the only player to win six European Cups, died on Tuesday at the age of 88, the club announced.
Gento spent 18 seasons at Real Madrid between 1953-71, winning 12 league titles, two Spanish cups and an Intercontinental cup on top of his record-breaking European Cup haul.
“Real Madrid C. F., the club’s president and the Board of Directors are deeply saddened by the death of Francisco Gento, honorary president of Real Madrid and one of the greatest legends of our club and of world football,” the Spanish club said in a statement.
“He played 600 games for Real Madrid, scoring 182 goals. Gento was also capped 43 times by the Spanish national team.”
“Paco Gento truly represents all the values of Real Madrid, and has been and will continue to be a reference for madridistas and for the sporting world.”
Born in Cantabria in 1933, he began playing football in 1948 and by 1950 made his professional debut with Rayo Cantabria, an affiliate of Racing de Santander, where he played for a season in 1952 before signing for Real Madrid.
His move to the capital coincided with that of another club legend — Alfredo di Stefano.
Gento plied his trade as a left-winger with Los Blancos until 1971, when he hung up his boots to take managerial roles at Real Madrid’s youth team and later Palencia and Granada.
Gento played in eight European Cup finals and won six of them, more than any other player.EFE