R.I.P. Alfredo Di Stéfano…

…the blond arrow.

The Real Madrid player, widely regarded as one of the world’s greatest players died on Monday (July 7th) aged 88.

When talk turns to the greatest footballers it’s always Pele and Maradonna that top the lists, Alfredo Di Stéfano, the most complete footballer in the history of the game as Eusebio described him, deserves to be in the mix.

Pele never tested himself self outside of his native Brazil and South America when it came to club football – US football in the 1970s doesn’t count, but he counts the goals, probably the ones in Escape To Victory as well. Di Stéfano scored goals for fun in Spain with Real Madrid, in the process winning five European Cups straight – he scored in each final. Like Pele he wasn’t alone in those teams with the likes of Puskas and Gento around him. Maradonna gets the single handed accolades, that Messi might get this time around, that’s in World Cups of course, which Di Stéfano unfortunately never graced – politics when he was playing for his native Argentina not qualifying when he changed his allegiance to Spain.

But even without World Cups you’d have him ahead of the likes of Cruyff and Platini. Along with Puskas in his Hungary days, Di Stéfano was one of the greatest influences on European football of all time.

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