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Enrique Castro, ‘Quini’


 
- Seasons at club: four (1980-84)
- Appearances: 178
- Goals: 101

- Honours:
1 European Cup Winners’ Cup (1981-1982)
2 Copas del Rey (1980-1981 & 1982-1983)
1 League Cup (1982-1983)
1 Spanish Super Cup (1983
)

 

Enrique Castro González, also known as Quini (born September 23, 1949) is a Spanish ex-footballer born in Oviedo.

Quini (Oviedo, 1949) was the epitomy of goalscoring excellence. Known as ‘el Brujo', ‘Quinocho' and ‘Quinigol', he was one of the best known striker's in Euroipean football at the time.

He dedicated his professional career playing for two historic Spanish clubs: Sporting de Gijón and FC Barcelona. It was at the latter club where he collected his only milestone trophies: the 1981 Copa del Rey, scoring twice to put away his beloved Sporting, on a 3-1 win in the final; and the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup 1981-82 where he scored the winner against Belgium's Standard Liège in the final held at the Nou Camp.



In is first spell with Sporting Gijón, Quini showed how quick and poweful he was up front and his imeccable finishing with both his feet and his head impressed. It was no conicidence that he was Pichichi on three different occasions with the Asturian team.

Barça finally managed to prise him away from Sporting in 1980 after several years of trying. At 31, he was still very effective and had lost none of his sharpness in front of goal. During his first campaign at Camp Nou he was kidnapped, but later released unharmed. Three months later he came up against the Sporting team, where he eventually played for 12 years, in the Copa del Rey final and showed true professionalism to score twice and help the Blaugrana to victory.



In 1980-1981 and 1981-1982 seasons, he finished as the Spanish league's top goalscorer with Barcelona and scored the club's 3,000th league goal on January 20, 1982 against Cádiz. In 1984 he returned to Sporting and left behind some very happy memories with his amazing goalscoring feats and was praised for his human qualities as much as his football ability.

He was kidnapped in 1981, being rescued by the police after 25 days.



At about two o’clock n March 1st, 1981, and after Barcelona defeated Hercules 6-0, a game in which Quini scored two goal, Quini was kidnpped by two individuals at gun point and taken away in their car starting a 25 day ordeal for both the player and club. Concerned for Quini’s wife and children, teammates Alexanko, Segura and Club President Nunez all spent the night at Quini’s home, amid great tension.

The Barcelona players, especially his great friend Schuster, contemplated refusing playing any further games until Quini’s release but decided to play on without him. His kidnapping affected the club’s performance resulting in 1 point from the 6 games.

After his release 25 days after his kidnapping, Quini had good words for her captors and withdrew the indictment against them, while FC Barcelona decided to pursue the case and ask for thirty-five million pesetas for compensation in damages for having lost the league title that was well on track before the kidnapping. The lawyer also asked for twenty-three years' imprisonment for kidnappers and two for the abettor. The judgement delivered on January 15th, sentenced the accused to ten years in prison and to pay five million to the player.




Overall, Quini scored 219 goals in the Spanish First Division, captured the Pichichi Trophy five times, and is considered by many to be one of the greatest attacking players in Spanish history and the greatest player in Sporting de Gijon history.

Quini played for Spain in the 1978 and 1982 World Cups, as well as the 1976 and 1980 European Championships.

Trofeo Pichichi

Real Sporting - 1973/1974 - 20 goles - Primera División
Real Sporting - 1975/1976 - 21 goles - Primera División
Real Sporting - 1979/1980 - 24 goles - Primera División
FC Barcelona - 1980/1981 - 20 goles - Primera División
FC Barcelona - 1981/1982 - 26 goles - Primera División



On February 7, 2008 Quini was operated for a cancerous condition and is now recovering from that procedure. This unleashed the solidarity of the Spanish fans who flooded the former players with comments of support and affection.