Spanish football is in mourning after formerSpain striker Enrique Castro – known as ‘Quini’ – died of a heart attack at the age of 68.
One of the finest strikers in Spanish football history, Quini scored 275 goals in 499 matches for Sporting Gijon and also 77 goals in 142 appearances for Barcelona.
He won the Pichichi Trophy, awarded to the leading scorer in La Liga, five times between 1974 and 1982, and earned 35 caps for Spain, representing his country at the 1978 and 1982 World Cups.Sporting said Quini collapsed while walking near his house in the northern city of Gijon.
Tributes poured in, with Barcelona saying Quini was ‘a synonym for goals’ and ‘one of the best strikers in Europe in his time.’ Lionel Messi posted a photograph of the two of them together.
David Villa said: ‘The team in heaven needed someone who could score goals. They’ve taken the very best up there.’
Quini was kidnapped at gunpoint in 1981 after Barcelona’s 6-0 win over Hercules, a match in which he scored twice.
He was on his way to the airport to meet his wife and children, but failed to turn up and was reported missing the following day. He was held for 25 days by his takers, but released unharmed, and went on to finish as La Liga’s top scorer that season. While at Barcelona, he twice won the Copa del Rey and helped them to victory in the European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1982.
The Spanish league said a minute’s silence would be held ahead of all top-flight matches on Wednesday and Thursday.