Francisco GentoLegendary Spain Footballer
- Date of Birth
- October 21, 1933
- Place of Birth
- Guarnizo, El Astillero, Spain
- Playing Position
Francisco “Paco” Gento López (born 21 October 1933) is a former Spanish football player.
Gento began his career at Racing Santander in 1952 and moved to Real Madrid the following season. He appeared in a joint record 8 European Cup finals, winning a record six, as well as winning 12 La Liga titles.
In a 14-year international career, Gento earned 43 caps for Spain, playing at the World Cup in 1962 and 1966. He is the only football player in history to have won 6 European Cups in his career.
He débuted in the Primera División with Racing Santander in the 1952–53 season. In the following year, he signed with Real Madrid and became a legendary player of that club, wearing the number 11 shirt.
La Galerna del Cantábrico (The Gale of the Cantabrian Sea), as he was known, played outside-left and was noted not only for having great speed (he could run 100 meters in 11 seconds flat and was almost as quick with a ball at his feet), but also for his skills with the ball and his scoring prowess from the midfield position. He captained a young side, known in Spain as Ye-yé, because of the popularity of The Beatles at that time. He is regarded as one of Spain’s greatest players
Among other honors, Gento won the European Cup a record 6 times with Real Madrid (an unmatched record), scoring 30 goals in 89 European Cup career matches. He also played for Spain from 1955 to 1969, winning 43 caps and scoring 5 times.
Gento played in eight European Cup finals (6–2 record) (with a “ninth” appearance in the 1970–1971 Cup Winners’ Cup final that Real Madrid lost to Chelsea). He holds this record jointly with AC Milan’s Paolo Maldini (with an inferior 5–3 record). Gento’s legendary Real Madrid teammate, Alfredo Di Stéfano (5–2 record) comes third with 7.
After he retired from football in 1971, he decided to take up coaching. He took charge of various lower-league teams, such as Castilla, Castellón, Palencia, and Granada. In the end, he accepted a post working as an ambassador for Real Madrid throughout Europe.
Gento has two younger brothers called Julio (born in 1939) and Antonio (born in 1940) that also are former footballers and both played for Real Madrid but they were not as successful as their older brother Francisco.