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Remembering - Enrique Castro "Quini"

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Quini "El Brujo" RIP

Enrique Castro (born in Oviedo, Asturias 23rd September 1949) known in the football world as either "Quini" or "El Brujo" (The Witch) died of a sudden heart attack while walking down a street near his home in Gijón.  He was aged 68.

Ex-striker and legend for both Sporting Gijón and FC Barcelona has left a big hole in the hearts of Spanish football last night when the news broke.  Quini played 443 times for Sporting Gijón (two spells with Barça in the middle) scoring 231 goals for the Asturian football club.  Quini also played 35 times for the full Spain national team where he scored 17 goals.

In 1980 "El Brujo" earned his big move to FC Barcelona where he stayed for 4 years playing 100 games and scoring 54 goals... He arrived at the time when one of Barça's ultimate footballing legends was the head coach in the shape of László Kubala.

At Barça Quini won the Copa del Rey (1981) in which the final was curiously against his former club and love of his life, Sporting Gijón... Quini scored 2 goals in that final at the former Atlético Madrid ground, Vicente Calderón.  The following season (1982) Quini was part of the Barcelona winning side that conquered the European Cup Winner's Cup against Standard Liege of Belgium and the final was curiously held at the Camp Nou... Quini scored the winning goal. In 1983 Quini was part of again winning the Copa del Rey, Copa de la Liga (Spain's League Cup which no longer exists) and the Supercopa de España.

Quini won the Pichichi award (La Liga's top scorer) 5 times.

A much loved character in Spanish football for his gentlemanly conduct both on and off the field.

Will be sadly missed. RIP.

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Remembering "Quini"

photo reel of Quini's football career



Quini in the Camp Nou in 2016 where FC Barcelona honoured the legend with a game against Sporting Gijón with all proceeds going to Quini's youth academies for infants.



After the honorary game Quini was presented with the FC Barcelona Gold Insignia which is something only 7 other past Barça  legends have been presented with.



Quini with another Asturian Sporting Gijón legend who also pulled on the Barça blaugrana shirt, David Villa.



United photo... Quini who scored FC Barcelona's 3,000th goal for the club in all official competitions, Guillermo Amor the 4,000th and Lionel Messi the 5,000th.



There's the story of Quini apparently telling Johan Cruyff (the period of Cruyff as head coach) to "get the ball boy into the first team at Barça 'B' because he's special".  The ball boy was famously Josep Guardiola... Pep and Quini while Guardiola was coach at Barcelona and a La Liga clash between Barça and Sporting at the Camp Nou.



Quini in the centre with two characters that would make a mark as Barça players.  Abelardo "El Pitu" Fernández on the right after he'd been signed by Barcelona from Sporting Gijón and on the left a very young Luis Enrique who was at Real Madrid still and would sign for Barcelona two years later. Three Sporting legends, three Asturians.



Quini pictured playing for Spain against Belgium.  He played for Spain in both the 1978 and 1982 World Cups.



Two great friends, Quini and Cruyff together.



Quini at the Camp Nou with the eldest of his three sons.  His eldest has none other than Johan Cruyff as his godfather.



Quini playing in what he recognised as his favourite game while playing for Barça against Espanyol.  For him games against Real Madrid or anyone else weren't the same as the local derby.



Quini in his first Copa del Rey victory which included players like "El Lobo" Carrasco, Urrutia, Julio Alberto and Diego Maradona.



Quini and Bernd Schuster holding aloft the Copa del Rey.



TwoBarça idols of the 80s pictured together, Quini and Simonsen.



Quini pictured with one of his coaches at Barça who was one of the greatest of all time, Helenio Herrera. This picture isn't only famous because of those two characters pictured together but also because this was Quini's return to training after the infamous kidnapping ordeal he suffered which lasted 21 days.



Famous photograph of the press conference held on Quini's liberation from kidnapping next to the then FC Barcelona president, Josep Lluis Núñez. Quini breaks down in tears before telling of what occurred.



Quini on the day he was liberated from kidnap where the then president Josep Lluis Núñez paid the ransom of 100 million Pesetas (£500,000) to be liberated.  The kidnappers were later captured two weeks later.



Quini on his return to the love of his life, Sporting Gijón.



Quini pictured on his debut day for Sporting Gijón in 1968.



Finally... The last public picture taken (two weeks ago) before the legend was prematurely taken by a heart attack.  The picture is with FC Barcelona's technical director for football, Robert Fernández.




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Diego Maradona isn't one to pull back on when he feels he has something to say, but he doesn't tend to post a lot on social media himself.  But on the death of his great friend Enrique Castro "Quini", he posted this emotive Facebook recount of what Quini meant to him... I'll translate what Maradona has written;

"Quini has left us, "El Brujo" (The Witch), an exceptional man and a striker that scored goals against everyone.  The truth is that he was the type of goal scorer you don't get a lot of today, like Martín Palermo, maybe not touching the ball too much during the whole game, but when he hit it with his left, it would be like the greatest left-footer shot you'd ever seen.  Then when he hit it with his right, It was like the best right-footed shot you'd ever seen.  When you received the ball in midfield you knew the ball was telling you to quickly look up to see where Quini was, the ball was looking for him and you'd pass it because you knew he'd be face to face with the keeper.  Also for a header he'd always be the one best positioned.  I remember that in the dressing room Urrutia, Quini and myself would make an agreement to do moves that had been forbidden by Udo Lattek our coach because we might get injured doing them.  Diving headers were forbidden so we'd stay behind after training sessions and run them through where one of us would cross the ball and the other would run from the halfway line coming in late to do a diving header.  Quini helped me a lot on my arrival to Barcelona and we'd go out to play tennis (a sport he loved) on our spare time. I hope he rests in peace and I send a hug to all of his family."

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I've got no insight on the player. SirBalon has offered more than enough information, too.

Apparently, El Molinón Stadium is going to be renamed in order to honor Quini (it's going to be named "Estadio El Molinón-Enrique Castro Quini").

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Thos morning the Sportinguistas all congregated at El Molinón (Sporting Gijón's stadium) to say goodbye to their greatest ever player, Enrique Castro "Quini" "El Brujo".

The stadium filled to the rafters and many thousands outside due to there not being enough room inside.

Tomorrow the other love of Quini's life FC Barcelona will be honouring Quini before the big game against Atlético Madrid.

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1 hour ago, The Rebel CRS said:

What was interesting about his kidnapping is that he didn't pursue his 5 million compensation or testify against his captures. It's something which happens a bit in cases like these though.

R.I.P to a Spanish football legend.

There are conspiratorial theorists that say the establishment was involved in his kidnapping.  How true or fantastical that is we'll never know because whenever Quini spoke about those things he would only cite how it occurred and would always change the subject when any questions were asked as to the individuals.

If you watch some documentaries on that subject you will notice that Quini coupled with Helenio Herrera as coach who took over the managerial aspect of things almost halfway through the season where Barcelona were two points off relegation and when the kidnapping happened they had gotten to second spot with 8 games to play and back in the title race due to Quini's goals.

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