When I received the news of Manuel's passing, I was left numbed. He was a great team mate of mine during the Ye-Yé era of Real Madrid in the 1960s. Those were such great times, when the team was full of Spanish players and it's a real shame when one of them is no longer around. I had a great friendship with Manuel. We both arrived at Real Madrid together, at the same time although he was a little older than me. One of the things which characterized Manuel was the he was such a great team mate - he was with everyone. He was a serious-minded and professional man and his warmth helped to create a great atmosphere within the dressing room and he would give everything out on the pitch. He is part of the history of Real Madrid - it was dedicated people like him who played a vital role in turning the club into what it is today.
Sanchís and Pirri, team mates for club and country
Out on the pitch he was truly magnificent to watch - always sure of himself, and breathtaking fast... - both with Real Madrid and with the national team. In the run-up to the 1966 World Cup finals, the Spain squad spent 40 days preparing in Santiago and I ended up as his room mate. During the finals he scored a fantastic goal against Switzerland - that goal spoke volumes about the player he was; it is a perfect example of his commitment and determination - he picked the ball up in defence, then embarked on a bold, tearing past the opposition before tucking the ball over the Swiss keeper and into the net. He will always be in our hearts.