Now, now, now Quini, now...!
Many have done the rounds, but nothing resounds in my ears like that rugged chant, as Sporting attacked beneath the wind and rain, as their opponent took refuge under the umbrella of their penalty box and El Molinón sang: "¡Ahora, ahora, ahora Quini, ahora...!" (Now, now, now Quini, now...!") The ferocious cry of football from the north, foretold the goal of Quini, who was devoted to fulfilling that hope. A friend told me about when Real, the great Real of those years, were turned over, thanks to two last gasp goals by Quini. That was the Real of Arconada, none other than that of Luis Miguel Arconada. The roar of El Molinón that day, and many others, still resonates in the memories of so many as they shouted and enjoyed.
Quini attack to counter Italian defence
"Now, now, now Quini, now...! The thunderous noise will still rumble in the ears of García Remón, Arconada and the others who faced it. Sporting's point of attack and strength of belief, Quini represented something unique. We first came across him in the Segunda División. His first Sporting appearance, due to his unwavering attacking football, was a break from the Italian-led defensive epidemic of the time. The attacking rise of the 70's (Herrero, Quini, Marañón, Valdés and Churruca, with Paquito and Lavandera as counter-measures, under the orders of Carriega) was national news. Segunda football was televised for the first time, thanks to them. That Sporting of Quini deserved it.
Gijón will miss Quini, but with much pride
Much of Gijón went to the wake. It was not just about honouring a great player, which he clearly was. He was something else. He was an example of endeavour and bonhomie, an illustration of how one should go through life, whether as a player from Sporting, Barça or the national team. A decent and supportive worker on the pitch and off it. A lucid conversationalist in get-togethers. Someone happy to stroll through the streets of Gijón, the city he chose, once he left football, for the rest of his days. Those streets of Gijón will miss you. They have lost a lot. But they have the satisfaction of the ever-lasting pride in knowing that Quini was made flesh and bone from their streets.
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