Ignacio Zoco, Spanish 1964 EURO Champion, passes away

Ciudad del Fútbol 28 Sep 2015
Ignacio Zoco was one of the legendary players who took part in the 1964 European Cup where Spain beat USSR 2-1 at the Santiago Bernabéu final

Ignacio Zoco Esparza  born in Garde, Navarra, on July 31st 1939. He started his career as midfielder for CA Osasuna in Pamplona in 1959, aged only 19 he took part in three seasons. 

He got to Real Madrid CF in 1962 and the National Team, a year before, playing for the Spanish side on 25 occasions between 1961 and 1969. He reached his summit at the '64 EURO, where Spain become continental champion beating USSR at the final in the Santiago Bernabéu. "We were a group with character, all managed by an exceptional player: Luis Suárez, Olivella and Zoco set the pace," recalls Amancio when speaking of the Spanish National Team's first title. 

The truth is that Zoco, a classic "6" was the first team champion, one of the pillars who took part in the '64 EURO. Olivella, when remembering Zoco, points out that "at that time we have a very defined base of the team. Since the tournament started until the end 41 players took part, therefore the day Hungary, as well as the USSR, the same squad took part in the match. Between Ignacio Zoco and I, the central defenders, there was a perfect mix, I didn't make mistakes, whenever he got up I knew whether he would make it to the ball or not." 

He also played a World Cup, in England 1966. There he played three matches: two defeats 2-1 against Germany and Argentina, and one 2-1 victory over Switzerland.

After 12 years with the Madrid-based club, where he won 7 Spanish Leagues, 1 European League Cup and one EURO, in 1974 he retried from the playing field. Married to singer María Ostiz, he was Sports Councillor for Navarra and later board member of Real Madrid CF. 

Rest in peace.