The Galerna del Cantábrico (The Storm of Cantabria), as he was known, played outside left and was noted not only for having great speed (he used to be an athlete in his youth and could run 100 metres in 11 seconds flat and was almost as quick with a ball at his feet), but also for his skills with the ball and his relatively high scoring capabilities given his position. He captained a young side, known in Spain as Ye-yé, because of the popularity of The Beatles at that time.
Among other honours, he won the European Cup a record 6 times with Real Madrid (an unmatched record), scoring 30 goals in 89 European Cup career matches. He also played for Spain from 1955 to 1969, winning 43 caps and scoring 5 times.
He has played in 8 European Cup finals (6-2 record) (with a "ninth" appearance in the 1970-1971 Cup Winners' Cup final that Real Madrid lost to Chelsea); a record jointly held with AC Milan's Paolo Maldini (with an inferior 5-3 record). Gento's legendary Real Madrid teammate, Alfredo Di Stéfano (5-2 record) comes third with 7.
After he retired from football in 1971, he decided to take up coaching. He took charge of various lower-league teams, such as Castilla, Castellón, Palencia, and Granada. In the end, he accepted a post working as an ambassador for Real Madrid throughout Europe.
Gento has two younger brothers called Julio (born in 1939) and Antonio (born in 1940) that also are former footballers and both played for Real Madrid but they were not as successful as their older brother Francisco.