Tue 26 October 2021 | 17:30

Francisco Gento Biography

He is of the best left-wingers in the history of football and holder of many records as a Real Madrid player. In this article, we will take a look at Francisco Gento biography.

Francisco Gento, born 21 October 1933 in Guarnizo (Cantabria), is a retired Spanish international footballer and football coach. He is widely regarded as one of the best left-wingers of all time.

He was born in the village of Guarnizo south of Santander. He worked in the farm fields as a child, herded cows with his father and supported Atletico Aviación, today's Atletico Madrid. After playing in several amateur teams, he joined the youth academy of Racing. In the 1952/53 season, he played for Racing and at the same time, he signed a contract with Real Madrid, for which he began playing in 1953.

Paco Hento debuted two games ahead of another Real Madrid legend, Alfredo Di Stefano, but has spent far more seasons with the club. Gento was the only player to win six European Cup titles in total and all six with the same team.

In world football's most prestigious continental tournaments only one other man has managed as many victories - the Argentine Francisco Sa won six Libertadores Cups in the 1970s, but with two teams (4 wins with Independiente, 2 wins with Boca Juniors).

In honour of Paco Gento, two matches were played at the Santiago Bernabéu - in 1975, Real Madrid played a friendly against River Plate and in 1972, against Belenenses from Portugal.

He was capped 44 times by the Spanish national team, taking part in the European Cup of Nations in 1964 and in the World Cups of Chile 1962 and England 1966.

He stopped playing football in 1972 but remained linked to the world of football as a coach and trainer in various teams, but he did not have any notable success.

All You Need to Know About Francisco Gento Biography


He has received various awards and honours, such as the Gold Medal for Merit in Cantabrian sport (1996), the Gold Medal for Sporting Merit, the Cross of Isabella the Catholic and the Gold and Brilliant Badges of Racing Santander and Real Madrid.

Francisco Gento Information

Now that we know the Spanish footballer much better, in this section of

Francisco Gento biography

we will share more general information about him such as

Francisco Gento nationality

to let you know him even better.

Francisco Gento Bio

  • Full Name: Francisco Gento López

  • Nickname: La Galerna del Cantábrico

  • Profession: Professional Football Coach

Francisco Gento Physical Stats

  • Weight: 70 Kg

  • Height: 1.71 m

  • Eye Color: Brown

  • Hair Color: Grey

Francisco Gento Football Information

  • Position: Winger

  • Jersey Number: 11

  • Professional Debut: 1952

Francisco Gento Date of Birth and Personal Info

  • Date of Birth: 21 October 1933

  • Birth Place: Guarnizo, El Astillero, Spain

  • Zodiac Sign: Libra

  • Nationality: Spanish

Now stay tuned to this section of

Francisco Gento biography

as we want to share some info about

Francisco Gento childhood


Francisco Gento Early Life

Francisco Gento López, son of Prudencia and Antonio, was born in Sáinz Trevilla street in Guarnizo. His father was a midfielder in the Cultural de Guarnizo team, and his childhood already awakened his interest in football combined with the physical quality that has characterised him so much: speed.

As a child, he would race against his brothers Antonio and Julio (who would later become footballers in several teams), always giving them a lead of several metres, and he would always arrive first. He was also able to run with the ball, demonstrating it in the matches played at the Redondel, a place in Astillero located in La Planchada where the football playing tradition had already produced the fruit of another great player, Fernando García.

He moved from Redondel to the modest Frajanas de Astillero and then participated in the Los Barrios Tournament wearing the shirt of Nueva Montaña, a team in which he played for two seasons until he joined the youth team Astillero, a subsidiary of the Union Club.

There he soon made a name for himself. The team made it to the final of the Championship of his category on 19 March 1951, and Gento was on target for the two goals that gave them the victory. Astillerenses won 2-1 against Racing's youth team, and the Santander club made the most of that defeat because they quickly signed Gento for their reserve team, Rayo Cantabria.

The Union Club received 1,500 pesetas as compensation for the player's departure. Gento had to wait until he was 18 years old to play in the Third Division with the Rayo, from where he transferred to Racing at the start of the 1952/53 season.

Gento debuted as a Racing player and as a First Division footballer on 22 February 1953 in a match played at the Campos de Sport against


. However, he did not last long at the Santander club. He played ten league games and scored two goals. One of those ten matches was a decisive one for his future as a footballer.

Francisco Gento Profile

It took place on 12 April at the Santiago Bernabéu and Real Madrid beat Racing 2-1. The then coach of Racing, Nando (Fernando González Balenciaga), fielded Ortega; Marquitos, Barrenechea, Ruiz; Felipe, Nando; Magritas, Alsúa, León, Martínez and Gento. Now stay tuned to this section of Francisco Gento biography as we want to share some info about his Real Madrid career.

Real Madrid

Real Madrid

scouts were amazed by the speedy winger and in August they concluded his transfer to the club for 1,750,000 pesetas. His first season, 1953/54, saw Paco Gento starting to win titles with Real Madrid. Los Blancos had signed a great star, Alfredo Di Stéfano, to reinforce a team that had not won the league for 20 years.

Meanwhile, Gento played an active role in winning the title, with a line-up that usually consisted of Pazos; Navarro, Oliva, Lesmes II; Muñoz, Zárraga; Joseíto, Olsen, Di Stéfano, Molowny and Gento. He played alongside other great players in the Spanish capital who marked the most glorious era of the Real Madrid team.

One of the many championships he won with his club was the first Intercontinental Cup final in 1960 against Peñarol. Gento was unable to take part in the first match in Montevideo due to injury, which ended in a goalless draw. In the second leg at the Bernabeu, 120,000 fans gathered to celebrate a magnificent 5-1 victory over the American champions.

Puskas and Di Stéfano had already scored three goals after eight minutes, then Chus Herrera scored the fourth, and the fifth came from Gento when he saw the goalkeeper Maidana ahead of him and sent the ball over from more than forty metres out. The Madrid team then started with Domínguez; Marquitos, Santamaría, Pachín; Vidal, Zárraga; Herrera, Del Sol, Di Stéfano, Puskas and Gento.

The speed of Gento on the left flank was not the most desperate thing for the defenders who had to hold him back. One of them, who played for Manchester United, famously replied to a journalist: "Gento runs a lot, but the worst thing is not how he runs, the worst thing is how he stops".

Gento's runs also caused complaints from some of his teammates, such as Alfredo Di Stéfano who would get tired of running after him to try to finish off his crosses. His runs were tamed by the Argentinian Héctor Rial, a player who was Gento's master, who taught him the secrets of distance, touch and passing.

Gento played 761 games for Real Madrid, scoring 263 goals, including the 2000th Real Madrid goal in La Liga, scored on 9 November 1963 at the Bernabeu against


. Now stay tuned to this section of Francisco Gento biography as we want to share some info about his national team career.

Spain National Team

He played 43 international matches, scoring five goals. His first match was played in Chamartín on 18 May 1955 against


. It ended in a 1-1 draw with a goal by Ríal. Coach Ramón Melcón's line-up at the time was Ramallets; Matito, Garay, Marcelino, Campanal; Mauri, Zárraga; Mañó, Pérez Payá, Kubala, Ríal and Gento.

Following several friendly matches, Gento went on to play in the qualifiers for the 1958 World Cup, which


failed to qualify for. However, he did go to the 1962 World Cup in Chile, where he was the star of one of the longest and most effective gallops with the ball in living memory.

During the match against


played in Viña del Mar on 3 June, the Cantabrian winger picked up a ball in his own area and began a prodigious run where nobody could snatch the ball from him. As the field ended, he launched a measured cross with his left foot that Peiró finished off for the winning goal.

Those fast, classic moves by Francisco Gento surprised the sporting pundits and he was declared the best left-winger of the tournament by the Argentinian specialised press. The Spanish team against Mexico was made up of Carmelo; Rodri, J. Santamaría, Gracia; Vergés, Pachín; Del Sol, Peiró, Puskas, Suárez and Gento.

Gento also played several matches in the 2nd European Championship (won by Spain in the final in 1964), the World Cup in England in 1966 and the qualifying matches for the European Championship won by Italy in 1968. His final match with the national team was played in La Línea de la Concepción on 15 October 1969.

The match was a qualifier for the World Cup to be played in 1970. This was Ladislao Kubala's first match as coach, and Spain thrashed


6-0 with the following team: Reina; Gaztelu, Barrachina, Violeta, Eladio; Pirri, Asensi, Velázquez; Amancio, Gárate (Pujol) and Gento (Quino).

He was part of the world team that gathered at Wembley in October 1963 to celebrate the centenary of the birth of football. Among the starting line-up against England were: Yachin (USSR); Djalma Santos (Brazil), Schnellinger (FRG); Pluskal (Czechoslovakia), Kopa (France), Law (Scotland), Di Stéfano (Argentina-Spain), Eusebio (Portugal) and Gento (Spain).

Coaching career

Following his retirement from playing in 1971, Francisco Gento became a coach, taking charge of teams at a modest level, such as Real Madrid Castilla, the reserve team of Real Madrid, as well as CD


, CF Palencia and


CF. He subsequently became an ambassador for Real Madrid throughout Europe.

Now stay tuned to this section of

Francisco Gento biography

as we want to share some info about his playing style.

Style of Play

He was a great sprinter who was able to run the 100 metres in under 12 seconds, and his low centre of gravity, being small in stature, enabled him to hit the ball constantly on the run and always keep it under control; he would finish his moves with a powerful shot or a "pass of death" in the direction of Puskas or Di Stéfano. These physical attributes earned him the nickname of La Galerna del Cantábrico (The Galerna of the Cantabrian Sea).


Many football fans and critics consider Francisco Gento to be one of the greatest left-wings in the world of football. Gento holds the record for the number of Spanish leagues played and won (nineteen and twelve respectively, from 1953 to 1971, the first of them with

Racing Santander

; the others with Real Madrid), and also for participation and triumphs in the European Cup (six titles in 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960 and 1966).

Francisco Gento outside Football

Following his retirement from playing professional football back in 1971, he had a brief spell in politics before getting back to football, this time as a coach in 1974.

Since December 2015, Gento has been named honorary president of the Real Madrid club, a position that Alfredo Di Stefano held before his death in 2014. As of today, Francisco Gento still holds this position.

Francisco Gento Personal Life

In this section of Francisco Gento biography, we will take a deeper look into his personal life and share some information about things like 

Francisco Gento life story 


Francisco Gento religion

, stay tuned.

Family, Children and Relationships

Francisco Gento has been married to his wife Mari Luz for many years and the couple have two children, Julio and Francisco together.

His younger brothers Julio and Antonio were also Real Madrid players. Having trained with the youth team, Julio was promoted to the first team of Real Madrid in 1957. The right-winger, however, only played in friendlies. Following five years at Madrid, he ended up at Deportivo de la Coruña. Antonio made his official debut in the 1961-1962 season. A few months later, he would take the same path as Julio, but with Levante. All three brothers played for Real Madrid on 28 January 1959 in a friendly match against Zurich, winning by five goals to two.


During his career in football, Paco Gento has always been part of many charitable projects and we have seen him participate in different charity football matches.

Legal Issues

A couple of years ago, Paquita España, a woman from Málaga, filed a paternity suit against Francisco Gento. According to 'La Vanguardia', the 48th Court of First Instance of Madrid has ruled in her favour. The court ruled that from now on the woman, who was assisted by her son in the judicial matter, will have the right to use the name of her biological father and will also be eligible for the footballer's inheritance that may correspond to her. The 87-year-old Gento refused to take a DNA test on three occasions after Sevilla filed his lawsuit in 2019.

According to the lawyer Fernando Osuna, an expert in this type of case, told 'La Vanguardia', the fact that Gento refused to take the DNA test ultimately worked against him. In similar cases, article 304 of the LEC comes into play, which states that the lack of testimony is equivalent to confession or acceptance of the facts, as has happened.

The story between Francisco Gento and the Malaga-born woman who had given birth to his girl began when they were both single. She worked as a dancer in an artistic group. The two met, fell in love and when she became pregnant, they broke up, which Osuna said, "was very hard. Nowadays it's OK to be a single mother, but in those years it was a kind of stigma that marked the lives of the children".

Francisco Gento Career Statistics

In this section of Francisco Gento biography, we will take a look at his career stats on the international and club level.


Between 1952 and 1971, which almost all of it was spent at Real Madrid, Francisco Gento played a total of 620 matches on the club level in all competitions and scored 180 goals.


For 14 years between 1955 and 1969, Paco Gento was a part of the Spanish national team and in total, played 43 matches for his country, scoring 5 goals. He scored his last international goal on 31 May 1967, in the UEFA Euro 1968 qualifying match against Turkey.

Francisco Gento Honors

Being one of the most decorated players in the history of football, Gento has won all of his trophies with Real Madrid, including the

La Liga


Copa del Rey

, European Cup, Intercontinental Cup, Small Club

World Cup

and Latin Cup, many of them on numerous occasions.

He also has many records to his name, including the most La Liga titles, most European Cup titles, most European Cup final appearances together with Paolo Maldini and the most major trophies with Real Madrid.

Of his notable personal awards, we can include World Soccer World XI, Golden Foot Legends Award, World Soccer the 100 Greatest Footballers of All Time and IFFHS Legends.

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