Sporting Gijon Coach Ruben Baraja believes club legend Quini – who passed away in February – is ‘helping the team from heaven’.
The Asturian club have won six consecutive league games and climbed to the top of La Liga 123 on Sunday for the first time this season with a 3-1 victory at Almeria.
“Quini is helping us out from heaven and every day we miss him,” Baraja is cited as saying by Cadena Cope.
“We would have taken being in this position and we are now well placed to win promotion but we are not celebrating yet as we have a long way to go.
“The team has responded really well to losing our derby and we are on a good run of form.”
Quini played with Sporting from 1968 until 1980, and again after leaving Barcelona to end his career with more than 400 appearances for the club.
He played in the 1978 and 1982 World Cups for Spain and became known as ‘The Wizard’, winning five league titles for Barca and winning the Pichichi award for Spain’s leading goalscorer on five occasions.
The former player was also famed for being abducted at gunpoint and spending 25 days in captivity before being rescued by police.