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Quini played for Barça from 1980 to 1984 / FCB

Enrique Castro is to be honoured in the build-up to Barça’s game with Sporting Gijón on Saturday (8.30pm CET). The 66-year-old in one of Spain’s favourite all-time players, and he wore the shirts of both teams during his distinguished career. Here we pick ten key facts about the player better known to the fans as Quini, five-time winner of the Pichichi trophy for top scorer in La Liga and the victim of a kidnapping affair in 1981

1- Enrique Castro (Oviedo, 23 September 1949) was at FC Barcelona for four seasons, scoring 101 goals in 178 games and becoming hugely popular because of his charming personality.


2- A lethal striker, he played for Spain under manager Ladislau Kubala, who described him as “the best Spanish forward of recent times”. He would go on represent Spain at two World Cups, 1978 and 1982.


3- He made his name at Sporting Gijón (1968-80), where his ability to score goals with his head was particularly acclaimed. While at the club, he was top scorer in La Liga on three occasions, in 1973/74, 1975/76 and 1979/80.


4- Barça had been chasing the Asturian for several years, and finally secured his services in 1980. He was 31 years old by that time, but there were plenty of seasons of top quality football still left in him.


5- On 1 March 1981, in his first season at FCB, Quini was the victim of a kidnapping incident. When he was released on March 25, more than 1,500 people came to welcome him home, with a banner proclaiming that “For Quini we shall come for anything”.

Quini was released on 25 March 1981 / FCB


6- Three months after that horrific experience, he played against his former club Sporting Gijón in the Copa del Rey Final, scoring two goals in a 3-1 win.


7- In his four years at Barça (1980-84), he won the Cup Winner’s Cup (81/82), two Copas del Rey (80/81 & 82/83), one League Cup (82/83) and one Spanish Super Cup (1983).


8- He also collected two further leading goalscorer trophies in 1980/81 and 1981/82, making five in total. Only Telmo Zarra (6) has won the Pichichi title more. He also scored Barça’s 3,000th league goal on 24 January 1982 against Castellon.


9- In 1984, he returned to Sporting for the final years of his playing career. The Camp Nou paid tribute to him on 9 October 1984. Whenever he returned, the stadium always chanted the name of man held in high personal esteem in Catalonia.


10- A truly remarkable gentleman, when consulted by Manuel Vázquez Montalbán about the prologue to a book about the kidnapping affair, he insisted that “you mustn’t say anything too bad about the kidnappers. They were nice people.”

Abelardo, Luis Enrique and Quini at the Molinón in 2016 / MIGUEL RUIZ-FCB

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