“Nobody is bigger than Real Madrid. Above the coach and the players, above everyone, is the name of Madrid. The only one who has done something different and whose name is closest to that of Madrid’s is Santiago Bernabeu, as ex-president. And as a coach and player, Di Stefano”- Capello (x)
Its rare that a player gets to unveil his own statue more than 40 years after he last played for the club. But Alfredo Di Stefano is exactly that, a rare player. The absolute Godfather of Real Madrid and for many, the greatest player of all time. A man who won 5 consecutive European cups, 8 Spanish league titles with Real Madrid and has scored 216 goals in 282 appearances.
For many people that final between Real Madrid and Eintracht Frankfurt in Glasgow 1960 was the best match in the history of football. A 7-3 win for Real Madrid. It was Real Madrid and Di Stefano’s finest hour. Slowly after that Real Madrid started to become among the greatest clubs around the world.
Sandro Mazzola an Inter Milan player who played against Real Madrid in the finals says “I remember being in the tunnel before the game, and it was badly lite but I saw that figure dressed all in white and i thought he was 2m tall. I saw him as a god of football, something incredible. So much so that before the game I stopped and stared at him, until my teammate Luis Suarez said to me ‘oye kid we’re going to play a football match, you’re just going to stare Alfredo’ and that woke me up.”
The abiding memory of Di Stefano will always be as a phenomenon player. So much so that Real Madrid would never have been the club they are today without his influence. His teammates and others around the world, think of him as the God of football.
Its no exaggeration to say that it was Di Stefano’s era that set the standards for the Madridistas. Now a days Real Madrid are one of the worlds biggest club but whenever there is a big footballing event in the Spanish capital, guess whose there in the center? Alfredo Di Stefano. Football’s greatest.
The World Cup /The Netherlands and Argentina observe a moment of silence for Alfredo Di Stefano during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Semi Final match between the Netherlands and Argentina at Arena de Sao Paulo on July 9, 2014 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
“He could defend, he could attack, he could run, he could head the ball and use both right and left feet. He played all over the pitch. Alfredo Di Stéfano was the most complete player ever, something I have never seen anywhere else and I have seen a lot of players” -Jose Santamaria, Real Madrid 1957-66
“…With what he does, he shouts so loudly that you cannot hear what he says. It could be said that actions speak louder than words. I love his determination. He never gives up. That essential perseverance that helps everyone achieve their dreams. Enough decisive things have happened already for me to say that I’m sure he’s an excellent role model to follow. Although life goes on, the rivers flows and the birds migrate, we’ll always have the tireless Cristiano and his goals in a Real Madrid shirt.” -Di Stéfano (x)