Saturday, May 21

Real Madrid legend Paco Gento dies at 88

Paco Gento, Real Madrid‘s honorary president and the only player to win six European Cups, has died at the age of 88.

The club announced the news in a statement on Tuesday, calling the former winger “one of the greatest legends of our club and of world football.”

“Real Madrid wants to express its condolences and affection to his wife Mari Luz, his sons Francisco and Julio, his granddaughters Aitana and Candela and all of his relatives, teammates and loved ones,” the statement said.

“Paco Gento faithfully represents all of the values of Real Madrid, and has been a role model for Madridismo and the world of sport. Real Madrid fans and all football fans will always remember him as one of its great icons.”

Gento was born in Cantabria in northern Spain in 1933 and played for Racing Santander before joining Real Madrid aged 19.

A quick, direct left winger, he spent 18 years as a Madrid player, making 600 official appearances and scoring 182 goals.

He became an important member of the club’s greatest ever sides, playing alongside legends Alfredo di Stefano, Raymond Kopa and Ferenc Puskas.

One of the most decorated players in football history — and the Madrid player, alongside Marcelo, to win the most trophies for the club — Gento won 12 LaLiga titles between 1954 and 1969.

He is most associated with his record in the European Cup, now known as the Champions League.

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He appeared in eight European Cup finals and won six of them, including Real Madrid’s five consecutive trophies between 1956 and 1960, scoring in the 1957 and 1958 finals.

Gento also played 43 times for Spain, representing them at the World Cup in 1962 and 1966.

He was named honorary president of Real Madrid in 2016, following the death of Di Stefano two years earlier.

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