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Emilio ButraguenoThe Vulture's Quint


Emilio Butragueño Santos (born 22 July 1963 in Madrid) is a former Spanish footballer. He joined Real Madrid's youth system in 1981. During this period, Butragueño acquired the nickname 'El Buitre' (The Vulture), a play on his surname. He was given his senior debut by Alfredo Di Stéfano on 5 February 1984.

Prior to his first team debut, there was a publication in the Spanish daily El País titled 'La Quinta del Buitre', written by Julio César Iglesias (November 15, 1983), which highlighted the promise of 5 young players from Real Madrid's academy. 'La Quinta del Buitre' (Vulture's Quint), would become renowned as a generation of club-grown players that dominated Spanish football in the 1980s.

Together they would inspire Real Madrid in one of the most trophy-laden passages in its history. 'El Buitre' spearheaded the legendary quintet that included Rafael Martin Vazquez, Michel, Miguel Pardeza and Manolo Sanchis - all born in Madrid with the exception of Pardeza.

All five players were part of Spain's squad during 1990 FIFA World Cup. 'El Buitre' would represent the Spanish national team in two World Cups and two European Championships, scoring 26 international goals for his country, a record that stood for several years.

Sanchís would be the only member of 'La Quinta' to see his career out at Real Madrid, holding the club record for most appearances with 712. In the process, he became the only one of the original 5 to get his hands on the European Cup, lifting the trophy as captain in 1998 and 2000.

Butragueño was considered one of the most lethal strikers in the Europe in the 1980s. He was a smart player and always seemed to be in the right place at the right time, scoring most of his goals from inside the penalty box. He was never sent off during his 12 years at the top and picked up only five yellow cards in all that time. 12 seasons with Real Madrid, he played a total of 341 games scoring a total of 123 goals.

'I'm a great believer in players just focusing on how they can help their team and nothing else.And as I saw it, I wasn’t going to achieve that by fighting with the opposing team or the referee. My aim was to use my wit and invention to win games.'
Emilio Butragueño

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