Real Madrid icon Di Stefano passes away
Alfredo di Stéfano died on Monday afternoon at Madrid's Gregorio Marañón Hospital. Real Madrid's honorary president, 88, had been fighting for his life since suffering a heart attack while walking down a street near the Santiago Bernabéu on Saturday.
The whole of the football world and particularly 'Los Blancos' fans will mourn the passing of the most important player in Real's history and one of the greatest ever to play the game.
Born in Buenos Aires, Di Stefano started his career with River Plate then left for Millionarios in Colombia. Alfredo di Stefano's achievements helped turn Real Madrid, the club he joined in 1953, into one of the world's leading sides.
Di Stefano, who played at international level for Colombia, Argentina and Spain, helped Real Madrid to five straight European Cup triumphs, scoring in each of the winning finals between 1956 and 1960.
The Argentina-born forward also won eight Spanish league titles at Real and was voted European player of the year in 1957 and 1959.
He left Real in 1964 having scored more than 400 goals across 11 seasons. He coached Real from 1982 to 1984, without much success, and he became honorary president of the club in 2000.
Di Stefano played at international level for three nations but never appeared at the World Cup. He won six caps for home country Argentina and played four times for Colombia during a spell in the country's league. However his Colombia caps are not officially recognised by Fifa.
Fifa said in 1954 he could not play for Spain, but reversed that decision in 1957 after he won citizenship and he went on to win 31 caps, scoring 23 goals.
Di Stefano's honours:
- Five European Cups (Real Madrid, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960)
- One Intercontinental Cup (Real Madrid, 1960)
- One America cup (River Plate, 1947)
- Eight Spanish league titles (Real Madrid, 1954, 1955, 1957, 1958, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964)
- One Spanish Cup (Real Madrid, 1962)
- Two Argentine league titles titles (River Plate, 1945, 1947)
- Four Colombian league titles (Millonarios Bogotá, 1949, 1951, 1952, 1953)