MADRID (Reuters) - Former Spain forward Quini has died following a heart attack close to his home in the northern city of Gijon, local media reported on Tuesday.
He was 68 years old.
One of the best strikers in Spanish soccer history, Quini notched 231 league goals in 443 games for Sporting Gijon, while he also scored 54 times in 100 appearances for Barcelona.
He won the Pichichi Trophy, awarded to the top scorer in La Liga, five times between 1974 and 1982 – more than either Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi – and earned 35 caps for Spain, playing at the 1978 and 1982 World Cups.
He was kidnapped at gunpoint in 1981 after Barcelona’s 6-0 victory against Hercules in which he scored twice.
He was on his way to the airport to meet his wife and children, but failed to turn up and was reported missing the following day.
He was held for 25 days by his takers, but released unharmed and went on to finish as top scorer in La Liga that season.
He also netted twice for Barcelona in that season’s King’s Cup final victory over his former club Sporting Gijon.
Editing by Toby Davis