Alfredo Di Stefano is right up there with Pele and Maradona if you list out the best footballers’ ever. He was an absolute revelation during his Real Madrid days, helping them to five consecutive European cups. He initially played for Argentina, Columbia national teams and later he changed his allegiance to Spain where he made his mark. Royal Spanish Football Federation selected Di Stefano as their Golden player of last five decades in 2003. Currently he is Real Madrid’s honorary president. He was the European footballer of the year in 1957 and 1959.real Madrid has named their practise ground as Alfredo di Stefano stadium. You can have di Stefano wallpapers from here.
Alfredo Di Stefano Laulhe was born on 4th July in 1926 at Buenos Aires. “Saeta Rubia” is his nickname. At the age of 17, Di Stefano started his football career with one of the top Argentinean club, River Plate in 1943.He played for Huracan during 1946 season as loanee. He won Argentinean league during 1945 and 1947 seasons with River plate. He was league top scorer in 1947.He scored 49 goals for River plate during his stint with them. He moved to Columbian league team Millionaires of Bogota in 1949 following a strike by footballers in Argentina. He won four Columbian championships with Bogotá. He also won Columbian cup, and two other cups with Bogota. He was the top scorer in Columbian league during 1951 and 1952 seasons.
He moved to real Madrid in 1953.This transfer involved bitter dispute between Barcelona and real Madrid, which lead to government intervention. It happened as there was too much confusion and bullying involved .At first Di Stefano signed a contract with Barcelona in 1953, with permission from FIFA, as they thought that he moved from River Plate club who had rights over him. However, they were not aware of the fact that Stefano left Millionaires club without their permission. Spanish football federation did not ratify the deal. His ownership was a complex deal as Millionaires had rights over him until 1954 and river plate had rights from 1955 onwards, so that meant, any transfer deal must involve the consent of two clubs. Millionaires’ club complained about Di Stefano’s transfer, with FIFA. The responsibility fell on Spanish football federation to solve it. There were division of opinions in Barcelona’s board regarding the transfer. While Di Stefano came to Spain, president of Real Madrid convinced him to join the Madrid club. However Spanish government made a decision, which allowed Stefano to play for 2 seasons with Barcelona and 2 seasons with Real Madrid. This lead to the resignation of Barcelona president as public went furious about this. However, Di Stefano went to play for Real Madrid until 1964.
He is certainly a legend of Real Madrid. He was part of a great striking pair, which involved Puskas. Di Stefano won eight Spanish league titles with Real Madrid. He won the top scorers trophy five times during his stint with real Madrid. He was instrumental in five consecutive European cup wins of Real Madrid from 1956 to 1960.He won two Latin cups, intercontinental cup in 1960,copa del Rey in 1962 and pequena copa del Mundo de clubes in 1956 with Real Madrid. He won European player of the year awards twice, in 1957 and 1959.He scored 49 goals in 58 European cup matches for real Madrid. His performances yielded him four “Spanish player of the year” awards. He joined Espanyol in 1964 and retired from club football in 1966.He scored 227 goals while playing in Spain. He scored 377 goals in 521 matches he played during his career. Watch out for amazing Alfredo goals here.
Di Stefano played for Argentina, Columbia, and Spain. He played overall 41 games .He never had the chance to play in world cup due to circumstances. Argentina did not participate in 1950 world cup. In 1954 he was ineligible for Spain. He got citizenship in 1956. He helped Spain, to qualify for 1962-world cup. However he did not play in it due to injury. He bid adieu to International football that year.
After retiring from playing career, he became manager. He coached Elche, Boca juniors (1969/1970, 1985) Valencia (1970to1974, 1979/1980, 1986-1988), sporting, Rayo Vallecano, Castellon, River Plate, and Real Madrid (1982-1984, 1990/1991). He won Argentinean league titles with Boca Juniors as well as River Plate. He won Spanish league, European cup winners’ cup Copa Del Rey while managing Valencia.