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Madrid great Gento, winner of six European Cups, dies at 88

MADRID (AP) – Francisco “Paco” Gento, a former Real Madrid great who is the only soccer player to win six European Cup titles, has died. He was 88.

Madrid announced Gento’s passing yesterday but did not give a cause of death.

Gento played with Madrid for 18 seasons, from 1953-71, and his 23 titles with the club in official competitions is a record he shares with Brazilian defender Marcelo, who tied him last Sunday by winning the Spanish Super Cup.

In addition to the six European Cups, Gento also helped Madrid win 12 Spanish league titles. He played 600 games with the club, scoring 182 goals. He was later named honorary president of the club.

Gento also made 43 appearances with the Spanish national team.

“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,” Madrid said in a statement.

“He will always be remembered by madridistas and all football fans as one of their greatest.”

Spain’s retired player Francisco Gento. PHOTO: AFP