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Madrid mourn long-serving stalwart Benito

Defender Gregorio ‘Goyo’ Benito, who played 420 times for Real Madrid over 16 years, as well as in two European club competition finals, has passed away at the age of 73.

©Real Madrid CF

Former Real Madrid defender Gregorio ‘Goyo’ Benito has died at the age of 73.

Benito enjoyed a superb 16-year career with Madrid, amassing 420 appearances for the Spanish club between 1966 and 1982.

He made his debut for Madrid just a week after turning 17 and remained a stalwart over the next decade and a half, lining up alongside the likes of Vicente del Bosque, José Antonio Camacho, Santanilla and Juanito.

Known as a no-nonsense defender for his firm-but-fair playing style, Benito won six Liga titles and five Copa del Rey crowns in the Spanish capital. He was a member of the Merengues sides that reached the finals of the 1971 UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup and 1981 European Champion Clubs’ Cup.

Benito also amassed 22 caps for the Spain national team between 1971 and 1978.