Madrid, Jan 18 (IANS): Real Madrid legend Paco Gento died on Tuesday at the age of 88, the club has confirmed. Known as 'the Cantabrian Storm' after his birthplace in the north of Spain, Gento started his career at Racing Santander before joining Real Madrid aged 19.
"Real Madrid would like to express its condolences and send its love and sympathy to his wife Mari Luz, to his sons Francisco and Julio, to his granddaughters Aitana and Candela and to all his relatives, teammates and loved ones," read a statement on the Real Madrid website.
"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. He will always be remembered by Madridistas and all football fans as one of their greatest," it continued.
Gento made 600 appearances for the club and scored 182 goals, forming part of the club's legendary side that included players such as Alfredo Di Stefano, Raymond Kopa, and Ferenc Puskas, reports Xinhua.
He won 12 La Liga titles between 1954 and 1969, along with six European Cups, with five of those coming in consecutive years between 1956 and 1960, and also played 43 times for Spain.
Gento hung up his boots in 1971 and went on to coach the Real Madrid B team for three years, although he was never made first-team coach.
He would go on to work for the club as an ambassador and was made Honorary President in 2014 after the death of Di Stefano.