Alfredo Di Stéfano (1926-2014)


Alfredo Di Stéfano was the greatest footballer of all time - far better even than Pelé. He was, simultaneously, the anchor in defence, the playmaker in midfield, and the most dangerous marksman in attack.
— Helenio Herrera - Inter Milan

Very few of us are old enough to have gotten to see Alfredo Di Stéfano play.  Today we mourn the loss of one of the true greats; the Argentine Real Madrid legend passed away earlier today.  He may not have played in a World Cup, but I don't think anyone will argue that Di Stéfano is the greatest club player in the history of the sport.

In Madrid, the field at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium leans to the left because Alfredo Di Stéfano had played so much on this side
— Spanish Journalists

Playing along with Hungarian great, Ferenc Puskas, and Franciso Gento, the three formed the most devastating attacking trio in the history of the game.  They were instrumental in Real Madrid's utter domination of the nascent European Cup, winning 5 in a row starting in 1956.  Di Stéfano scored in all 5 of the finals, including a hat trick in Real's 7-3 win over Eintracht Frankfurt in 1960. 

The greatness of Di Stéfano was that, with him in your side, you had two players in every position.
— Miguel Muñoz - Real Madrid

His European Cup record can easily stand on its own.  49 goals in 58 games, and those 5 trophies in succession.  Add to it, though, 305 goals in 392 Real Madrid Matches as well as 267 goals in 294 matches with Colombia's Millonarios.   And Bushels of titles at each.

The ball gave me prestige, gave me fame, gave me riches. Thank you, my old friend.
— Alfredo Di Stefano

No, saeta, gracias a ti. QEPD