Butragueno's four goals demolished Denmark in 1986. Billy Stickland/Allsport
For a country boasting a rich soccer heritage, Spain's World Cup record is an embarrassment of early exits, humiliating defeats and agonizing missed opportunities.
But Butragueno was responsible for one of Spain's finest moments in the competition when he scored four times in his country's 5-1 win over heavily fancied Denmark in the second round of Mexico '86.
Nicknamed "The Vulture" for his deadly abilities as a poacher around the penalty area, Butragueno intercepted a backpass for his first, completed his hat trick with two opportunist close range finishes, and capped one of the outstanding individual performances in World Cup history with a penalty.
Typically, the competition would end in disappointment for Spain, slipping out on penalties after a 1-1 draw with Belgium in the quarterfinals.
By the 1990 finals in Italy, Butragueno was playing in a deeper role and failed to add to his World Cup tally as Spain went out in the last 16 against Yugoslavia.
Butragueno enjoyed more success in club soccer, the highlight being five straight league titles between 1986 and 1990 during his long career with Real Madrid.