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Quinta del Buitre: Wikis

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La Quinta del Buitre was the name given by Spanish sport journalist Julio César Iglesias to the five homegrown Real Madrid players who were at the core of the team that dominated Spanish football in the 1980s. The name ("Vulture's Cohort") was derived from the nickname given to its most charismatic member Emilio Butragueño. The other four members were Manolo Sanchís, Martín Vázquez, Míchel and Miguel Pardeza.

Sanchís and Martín Vázquez were the first to play for Real Madrid's first team, making their debut at Murcia on December 4, 1983. Coach Alfredo Di Stéfano brought the youngsters in from the start. Both played surprisingly well and Sanchís even scored the winning goal. A few months later on 5 February 1984, Emilio Butragueño made his debut in an away game at Cádiz. El Buitre was an instant sensation and scored twice. Pardeza was added to the first team that same season and Míchel followed at the start of the next.

With La Quinta del Buitre at its core (reduced to four members when Pardeza left the club for Zaragoza in 1986) Real Madrid had one of the best teams in Spain and Europe during the second half of the 1980s, winning amongst others two UEFA Cups and 5 Spanish championships in a row. Their record was only blemished by their failure to win the European Cup.

Martín Vázquez went to play for Torino in 1990. He made a return to Real Madrid in 1992, leaving the club again for good in 1995 (to Deportivo La Coruña). Butragueño left the club in 1995 and Míchel in 1996. Both went to play for Club Celaya in Mexico.

Sanchís was the only member of La Quinta to never play for a club other than Real Madrid. By winning the Champions League twice (in 1998 and 2000), he also managed to accomplish what La Quinta had failed to achieve in its glory days. He retired in 2001 as the last active member of the famous cohort. In 1998, Sanchis was even awarded the Champions League Trophy first, because he was by then the captain of Real Madrid and had played the whole final against italian giants Juventus FC.

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