MADRID: Manuel Sanchis, a star of the only entirely home-grown Real Madrid team to win a European Champions Cup [El equipo ‘Ye-Yé’], has died aged 79.
Spain’s young players wore black armbands in tribute to Sanchis at the FIFA U-17 World Cup final against England in India on Saturday.
Manuel Sanchís Martínez, born in Alberique (Valencia) on March 26, 1938, played 213 games for Madrid over seven seasons between 1964 and 1971. His son, also Manuel, emulated his father by winning the Champions League Cup with Madrid in 1998 and 2000.
Sanchis senior began in the Barcelona youth sections but was considered too small to make the grade and was released to lower-division Condal and then Valladolid before moving to Madrid. Here he won not only the one European Cup but also four league titles and one Spanish cup (then known as the Copa del Generalísimo [Franco]).
Subsequently he played two seasons with Cordoba before retiring.
Sanchis played 11 times at right or left back for Spain including all three group stage matches at the 1966 World Cup in England when he scored a remarkable – and rare goal – from an acute angle in a 2-1 victory over Switzerland.
The death of Sanchis leaves six survivors from Real Madrid’s 1966 team, known then for its youth element as the Ye-Ye team: goalkeeper Jose Araquistain, defender Pachin, midfielder Pirri and forwards Fernando Serena, Amancio and captain Francisco Gento.