Julio César Benítez (Montevideo, Uruguay, 1940 - Barcelona, 1968) was one of the classiest defenders Barça has ever had during their long and illustrious history
He played in various positions for the Club, starting as an inside forward, then moving to midfield and ending up as a full back. Even when he was playing at the back, his instinct was always to attack and his extraordinary technical skill made him a master with the ball at his feet. Benitez was also a specialist free kick taker. Whilst he was an honest and true man off the pitch, his passionate and temperamental character on it caused him a number of problems with referees down the years.
He died after an attack of gastroenteritis on April 6th 1968, when he was still only 27. The death of such a popular and well-loved player caused consternation amongst the Barça fans and more than 150,000 visited the chapel of rest set up in the Presidential Area of the Camp Nou between 10 in the morning of April 7th to 3 in the afternoon the next day. It was one of the most impressive demonstrations of mourning ever seen in the city, which culminated in his burial at the Les Corts cemetery, next to the Camp Nou.
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