MADRID (AP) — Enrique Castro “Quini,” the former Spain striker who played for Barcelona and thrived in a long career with Sporting Gijon, has died of a heart attack. He was 68.
Sporting said Castro collapsed while walking near his house in the northern city of Gijon.
Known as “The Wizard,” Castro played in the 1978 and 1982 World Cups with Spain.
His career was also notable for a kidnapping incident during his first year with Barcelona, when he was abducted at gunpoint after a home game, spending 25 days in captivity before being rescued by police.
Castro also survived throat cancer that required surgery in 2008.
He played for Barcelona until 1984, making 178 appearances and winning five titles with the Catalan club.
Barcelona said Castro was “a synonym for goals” and “one of the best strikers in Europe in his time.”
He played with Sporting from 1968 until 1980, and again after leaving Barcelona to end his career with more than 400 appearances for the club.
The Spanish league said there will be a minute of silence to honor Castro in matches on Wednesday and Thursday.
Castro was the first division’s leading scorer five times.