Soccer-Real Madrid great Gento dies aged 88

FILE PHOTO: Football - UEFA Champions League Quarter Final Draw - Hôtel de Ville de Paris, rue Lobau, FR-75196 Paris Cedex 04 - 10/3/06 Host Carole Rousseau, Liverpool's Steven Gerrard and Francisco Gento during the draw Mandatory Credit: Action Images / Steve Crisp

(Reuters) - Francisco "Paco" Gento, one of Read Madrid's greatest players and a European champion with Spain, has died at the age of 88, the club said on Tuesday.

Having started his career at Racing Santander, Gento joined Real Madrid in 1953 and spent 18 years in the Spanish capital until his retirement in 1971. The left winger made 600 appearances for the club and scored 182 goals.

Gento remains the only player to have won six European Cups and he also won 12 league crowns, two Copa del Rey titles and one Intercontinental Cup during his time at Real.

"Real Madrid would like to express its condolences and its love and affection to his wife Mari Luz, his sons Francisco and Julio, his granddaughters Aitana and Candela and all his relatives, colleagues and loved ones," the club said in a statement.

Gento won 43 caps for Spain and represented his country in the 1962 and 1966 World Cups.

(Reporting by Hritika Sharma in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond)

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