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Madrid legend Gento passes away

Francisco ‘Paco’ Gento, a six-times European Cup winner with Real Madrid, has passed away at the age of 88.

Francisco Gento celebrates after captaining Madrid to success in the 1966  European Champion Clubs' Cup final against Partizan Belgrade in Brussels
Francisco Gento celebrates after captaining Madrid to success in the 1966 European Champion Clubs' Cup final against Partizan Belgrade in Brussels Popperfoto via Getty Images

A pioneering left-winger known for his turn of pace and low centre of gravity, Gento joined Madrid from home town club Real Racing Club in 1953 and went on to enjoy unprecedented success in the Spanish capital in his 18 seasons there.

Gento was a mainstay of the Real Madrid outfit that won the first five editions of the European Champion Clubs' Cup. He scored in the 1957 and 1958 finals and went on to captain Madrid in 1964 and 1966, helping them regain the trophy in the latter campaign following two runners-up efforts.

Final appearances record

He shares the record for the most number of European Cup final appearances of eight with Italy’s Paolo Maldini. “It was a huge pleasure to play with so many magical players," Gento told UEFA.com in an interview in 2006.

‘The Gale of the Cantabrian Sea’, as he was known, also won 12 Ligas, two Spanish Cups and one Intercontinental Cup as part of a glittering career that saw him make 600 appearances for the club.

Gento also represented Spain at the 1962 and 1966 FIFA World Cups, earning 43 caps in total for La Roja.