Meet football's answer to Tintin.
He was the silver-haired striker whose goals propelled Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain to European glory.
Eric Castel was a hero to boys across the continent, his exploits at the Camp Nou and the Parc des Princes cementing his status as a football and comic book icon.
And ahead of Wednesday's European Champions League quarterfinal second leg, memories of a winger who brought joy to fans of both teams will be thrust sharply into focus.
Former Barcelona president Joan Laporta called Castel the club's greatest ever signing, while current Barca playmaker Xavi is among his legion of loyal fans.
Castel's career flowed through the pencil of Raymond Reding, whose vibrant illustrations captivated a generation of youngsters.
The French star was known by different names across Europe -- Ronnie Hansen in the Netherlands, Kai Falke in Germany -- but he was always brought to life by the hand of Reding, who died in April 1999.
Reding, while also working on other make-believe sporting heroes, spent time working on Belgium's favorite young adventurer Tintin during the 1950s.
"With Francoise Hugues, Raymond Reding created this character in 1973 with a football player named Max Falk," football agent and Castel enthusiast Olivier Jouanneaux told CNN.
"He played in a company football team, not as a professional, in Dusseldorf, Germany.
"The Dutch comic magazine Zack ordered Reding to create a comic about football to be published in 1974, the same year Germany hosted the World Cup."
Characters such as Castel have always been a staple for football fans throughout the years.
English youngsters were held in thrall by the trials and tribulations of Roy Race, the eponymous hero of the "Roy of the Rovers" series who dazzled during decades with the fictional Melchester Rovers club.
Castel's career began in 1979, the year the real Barca team lifted the European Cup Winners' Cup, and his story was told across 15 albums running until 1992 -- the year the Catalans became champions of Europe for the first time.
"Nothing sounds better for a younger Barca supporter than a comic hero who wears the shirt of his team and lives so many adventures," says filmmaker Uri Garcia, who is hoping to produce a documentary about Castel.
"On the other hand, as seen in the comics, the drawing style of Reding is very realistic and is very well documented.
"I live in Barcelona, and during my childhood I lived next to the Camp Nou. For me, as well as for many fans of Catalonia, it was very exciting and special to see your city and your football club drawn as well in a comic."
While his exploits on the pitch excited readers, it was Castel's friendship with a group of young boys which was central to his appeal.
"My favorite moment could be when Castel meets Pablito and the juniors in Tossa de Mar in the first album," recalls Garcia, referring to the Catalonia municipality, which is north of Barcelona.
"Castel trains with the guys in the middle of the street but they don't know that he is the new star of Barca."
Reding's portrayal of the relationship between Castel and Pablito Varela and his friends, the "Pablitos", allowed every young child to imagine what it would be like to befriend a soccer superstar.
"Reding did well in creating a strong relationship between Castel and the 'Pablitos' despite their age differences," says Jouanneaux, who is a FIFA agent.
"Everyone can find himself in this comic. A child can dream to live events like the 'Pablitos' did."
As with all good stories, Castel's career took a sudden twist in 1984 when the goalscorer signed for PSG.