- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 4, 2012

MADRID (AP) - Former Real Madrid great Jose Maria Zarraga, who helped the Spanish powerhouse to a record five straight European Cups, died Tuesday. He was 81.

The team announced his death without giving a cause.

Zarraga played in midfield for a team that included Alfredo di Stefano and Ferenc Puskas and which won the European Cup every year between 1956-60, plus six Spanish league titles and one Intercontinental Cup.

Zarraga scored 96 goals in 306 appearances for Madrid, which he joined in 1949 before breaking into the first team two years later. He left Madrid in 1962 at the age of 32.

Madrid says it will hold one minute’s silence in honor of Zarraga on Wednesday at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium ahead of the Champions League quarterfinal against APOEL Nicosia.

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