David Villa has paid tribute to former Sporting Gijon and Barcelona great Enrique Castro 'Quini', who died of a heart attack last Tuesday.
The Spanish striker, who now plays for New York City FC in Major League Soccer, hailed his former mentor after his NYCFC side took a 2-0 win over Sporting Kansas City to open the 2018 MLS season for both sides.
Quini won the Pichichi trophy for being the top scorer in La Liga five times and remains eighth on the all-time list in Spain's top flight thanks to 219 goals across 448 appearances.
Quini represented Spain at the 1978 and 1982 World Cups, along with the 1980 European Championship.
His honors at Barca included Copa del Rey triumphs in 1980-81 and 1982-83 – scoring twice against his beloved Sporting in the former final – and the 1981-82 Cup Winners' Cup.
Villa walked out of the tunnel on Sunday wearing a special kit, with Quini's number 9 and SiempreQuini in place of his own name, and with the back of the shirt facing forward so it could be clearly read as he walked onto the pitch.
No ha sido la mejor semana para mí pero como me enseñaste desde que tenía 18 años,en ésto no hay excusas, sólo vale dar todo y así he hecho amigo.Seguro me hubieras regañado por no hacer gol pero ahí te va mi pequeño homenaje!!! Gracias por todo brujo.Te quiero.DEP #SiempreQuini pic.twitter.com/TKbIzM1Hgu — David Villa (@Guaje7Villa) March 5, 2018
The video of his tribute was accompanied by a touching message from the World Cup winner.
"It hasn't been the best week for me, but as you taught me when I was 18 years old, there are no excuses in this," Villa wrote on Twitter. "The only thing matters is giving everything, and that's what I've done, friend. Surely you would've scolded me for not scoring a goal, but here I give you my little tribute. Thanks for everything, Brujo. I love you. Rest in Peace. #SiempreQuini"