The body of flamenco guitar virtuoso Paco de Lucia was flown home to Spain on Thursday, two days after the 66-year-old musician died of a heart attack in Mexico.

Born Francisco Sanchez Gomez, the guitarist died of a heart attack on Tuesday after feeling unwell while playing football on a beach with his eight-year-old son near the Caribbean resort of Playa del Carmen.

He was repatriated on a flight to Madrid, accompanied by his wife and two children, and is expected to arrive there on Friday after a layover in New York, the Spanish consul in Cancun told AFP.

De Lucia has a home in Mexico's Mayan Riviera, where he spent much of his time in the past few years.

A tribute is being organized in Madrid's Royal Theater. He will be buried in his home town of Algeciras in southern Spain on Saturday.

De Lucia brought flamenco to a world audience with his speedy fingerwork, which is credited with modernizing the gypsy tradition of his native Andalusia by absorbing jazz and pop influences.

[Image via Agence France-Presse]