Player Profile: Alfredo Di Stefano

Discussion in 'Argentina' started by argentine soccer fan, Sep 5, 2005.

  1. argentine soccer fan

    Staff Member

    Jan 18, 2001
    San Francisco Bay Area
    CA Boca Juniors
    Nat'l Team:

    Full Name: Full name: Alfredo Estefano di Stéfano Laulhe.

    Born: 4 July1926 in Barracas, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

    Nickname: La Saeta Rubia (the Blond Arrow), El Alemán (the German).

    Position: (withdrawn) centre forward.

    Argentina 6 (1947) / 6 goals
    Columbia 4 / 0 goals (not recognized by FIFA)
    Spain 31 (1957-1961) / 23 goals

    League Games:
    Argentina 90 (1945-1949) / 61 goals
    Colombia 102 (1949-1953) / 89 goals
    Spain 329 (1953-1966) / 227 goals

    International Club Cup Games:
    European Cup 58 (1955-1964) / 50 goals
    Fairs Cup 3 (1965-1966) / 5 goals
    Intercontinental Cup 2 (1960) / 1 goal

    European Footballer of the Year:
    1956 (2nd), 1957 (winner), 1959 (winner), 1960 (4th), 1961 (6th)

    Games/Goals, Club, Span
    ----/----, Club Imán Buenos Aires (1942)
    ----/----, River Plate Buenos Aires (1943-1945)
    --24/-11, Huracán Buenos Aires (1946)
    --65/-50, River Plate Buenos Aires (1947-1949)
    102/--89, Los Millionarios Bogotá (1949-1953)
    342/ 267, Real Madrid (1953-1964)
    --52/-16, Espanol Barcelona (1964-1966)

    Trophies won (compact version):
    2 Argentine league titles (with River Plate)
    3 Colombian championships (with Millonarios)
    8 Spanish league titles (with Real Madrid)
    5 European Champion Cups (with Real Madrid)
    1 Intercontinental Cup (with Real Madrid)
    1 Spanish Cup (with Real Madrid)
    1 Colombian Cup (with Millionarios)
    1 Copa America (With Argentina)
    8 times best goal scorer
    2 times European Footballer of the Year

    Trophies won (detailed version):
    South American Championship: 1947
    European Champions Cup: 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960
    European Champions Cup Runners-up: 1962, 1964
    Intercontinental Cup: 1960
    Argentine Champion: 1945, 1947
    Argentine runner-up: 1948
    Argentine Cup winner: never
    Argentine Cup runner-up: never
    Colombian Champion: 1949, 1951, 1952
    Colombian runner-up: 1950
    Colombian Cup winner: 1953
    Colombian Cup runner-up: never
    Spanish Champion: 1954, 1955, 1957, 1958, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964
    Spanish runner-up: 1959, 1960
    Spanish Cup winner: 1962
    Spanish Cup runner-up: 1958, 1960, 1961
    Top League Goal Scorer: 1947, 1951, 1952, 1954, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959

    World Cup Participation:
    1962 (did not play)

    Alfredo Di Stefano is considered by many experts to be the greatest all-around player ever. He posessed great individual skill, but more importantly he had an ability to lead and organize a team, which led him to unprecedented success at the club level. His amazing fitness and stamina allowed him to roam the field, giving orders, defending, distributing, and scoring. His teammate and coach Miguel Munoz once said, 'The greatness of Di Stefano was that, with him at your side, you had two players in every position'.

    Di Stefano was born in the poor Buenos Aires neighborhood of Barracas and learned the game in the tough streets of the city. Later he moved to a family farm, where he developed his stamina. His father had played for River Plate, one of the leading clubs in Argentina, but he was disenchanted with the game when professionalism was introduced. For that reason he was not supportive of his son's choice of a career, as he considered football mere recreation and not a respectable means of substenance. But nothing could stop young Alfredo from his destiny, and his father eventually relented.

    Di Stefano made his debut for River Plate at 17 years of age. He wanted to be a center-forward like his idol, Arsenio Erico. Unfortunately, River Plate already had a top line, nicknamed 'La Maquina', with Adolfo Pedernera, Jose Moreno, Angel Labruna and Felix Loustau. There was no room for young Di Stefano, and he was sent on loan to Huracan. In his first match against River Plate, he scored eight seconds into the game, an Argentine league record. Within two years Pedernera left River Plate, and Di Stefano returned to the club, leading them to the first of two titles and winning the scoring title with 27 goals in 1947.

    In December of 1947 Di Stefano represented Argentina at the Copa America in Guayaquil, Ecuador. He scored six goals in six matches, including a hat-trick against Colombia, while helping Argentina win the title. It was to be the only time he represented his native country on the field.

    In 1949 Argentine players went on strike. The clubs responded by locking them out and using replacement players. Meanwhile, Colombia had started a rebel league unaligned with FIFA, and they lured Di Stefano as one of the league's top attractions, to play for Millionarios of Bogota. In three years in Colombia He won three league titles and two scoring titles.

    In 1952 Real Madrid organized an exhibition tournament to celebrate it's 50th anniversary. Colombia's Millionarios won the tournament, and Real Madrid found the player they wanted. They made a deal for Di Stefano, but rival Barcelona tried to outflank them by negotiating with River Plate, which still claimed official rights to the player. A Spanish soccer court ruled that Di Stefano was to play one season for each club, but after he had a slow start, Barcelona sold its share to Real Madrid. Four days later, Di Stefano scored a hat trick against Barcelona during a 5-0 drubbing by Real. And so began his legendary career at the club that will forever be associated with him.

    The eleven years which Di Stefano played for Real Madrid have to be considered the most dominant years by any football club in history, and it is unlikely that they will ever be equaled. Real won eight Spanish league titles, Five European Club titles, and the first Intercontinental Cup. Di Stefano was the 'Pichichi' (top league scorer) in the Spanish league five times. He was the unquestioned field-leader of the team, and led a lethal forward line which included other football giants like Kopa, Ryal, Puskas, Del Sol and Gento.

    In 1956 Real Madrid asked Di Stefano to become a Spanish citizen, so they could use one of their foreign spots for their new adquisition, France's Raymond Kopa. Di Stefano became a Spanish citizen in October 1956, and made his debut for Spain in January 1957, scoring three goals against Holland. Spain featured a powerful forward line which also included Kubala, Miguel, Luis Suarez, and Gento. At this time Di Stefano scored, with his heel, what he considers to be the best goal of his career. It was against Belguim, in a match which Spain won 5-0. But surprisingly, Spain was unable to qualify for the 58 World Cup, after tying their final match against Switzerland 2-2. Spain did not participate in the European championships of 1960, for political reasons. In 1962 Spain qualified for the World Cup, but Di Stefano got injured. Thus, he was never able to replicate at the National team level the success which he achieved at the club level, and the Copa America remains his only national team title.

    Di Stefano left Real Madrid after the final of the 1963-64 European Championship, a loss to ACMilan 2-1. He later played two years for Espanol, before his farewell match, an emotional exhibition game between Real Madrid and Celtic of Glasgow. After retirement, Di Stefano coached in Argentina, Spain and Portugal, with mixed results. His best success was in Argentina, winning league titles with both Boca Juniors and River Plate.

    Probably the best match of Di Stefano's ilustrious career was the 1960 European Championship final, when Real Madrid beat Eintranch Frankfurt 7-3 and he scored a hat-trick, in one of the most dominating and spectacular sporting performances of all time.

    League Statistics per Season
    Season - Club - Games – Goals [ Caps / Goals ]
    1945.... River Plate Buenos Aires.....01 / 00
    1946.... Huracán Buenos Aires........24 / 11
    1947.... River Plate Buenos Aires.....30 / 27 [ 6 / 6 ]
    1948.... River Plate Buenos Aires.....24 / 14
    1949.... River Plate Buenos Aires.....11 / 09
    1949.... Los Millionarios Bogotá.......15 / 15
    1950.... Los Millionarios Bogotá.......29 / 23
    1951.... Los Millionarios Bogotá.......34 / 32
    1952.... Los Millionarios Bogotá.......24 / 19
    1953.... Los Millionarios Bogotá.......00 / 00
    1953/54 Real Madrid.....................28 / 28
    1954/55 Real Madrid.....................30 / 25
    1955/56 Real Madrid.....................30 / 24
    1956/57 Real Madrid.....................30 / 31 [ 5 / 5 ]
    1957/58 Real Madrid.....................30 / 19 [ 5 / 3 ]
    1958/59 Real Madrid.....................28 / 23 [ 3 / 3 ]
    1959/60 Real Madrid.....................23 / 12 [ 9 / 10]
    1960/61 Real Madrid.....................23 / 21 [ 6 / 2]
    1961/62 Real Madrid.....................23 / 10 [ 3 / 1]
    1962/63 Real Madrid.....................13 / 12
    1963/64 Real Madrid.....................24 / 11
    1964/65 Espanol Barcelona............24 / 07
    1965/66 Espanol Barcelona............23 / 04

    International Club Games

    1955/56 Real Madrid.....................07 / 05
    1956/57 Real Madrid.....................08 / 07
    1957/58 Real Madrid.....................07 / 10
    1958/59 Real Madrid.....................07 / 06
    1959/60 Real Madrid.....................06 / 08
    1960/61 Real Madrid.....................02 / 01
    1961/62 Real Madrid.....................10 / 07
    1962/63 Real Madrid.....................02 / 01
    1963/64 Real Madrid.....................09 / 05
    1964/65 Espanol Barcelona............00 / 00
    1965/66 Espanol Barcelona............03 / 05
    EnnatzIsTheMan repped this.
  2. comme

    comme Moderator
    Staff Member

    Feb 21, 2003
  3. PepeBotella

    PepeBotella New Member

    May 29, 2006
    Many things wrong.
    It was River who owned Di Stefano. Millonarios didn't have transfer rights over him, and in fact they were oblied to return the player to River in October of 1954. Barcelona was the first to approach River and reach an agreement, and then Real Madrid in a desperate attempt to get the player agreed a deal with Millonarios who had no transfer papers on Di Stefano. The Spanish fascist government decided to share the player among both clubs. First the Barcelona president signed the deal, but later he resigned along with most members of the board. Eventually a provisional board decided to sell their rights on the player to Real Madrid.

    The affaire is full of threats by the Spanish government on Barcelona President, changes at the top of the Spanish Sport institutions, and laws being made and then reversed to prevent Barcelona from getting the player.
  4. argentine soccer fan

    Staff Member

    Jan 18, 2001
    San Francisco Bay Area
    CA Boca Juniors
    Nat'l Team:
    I got my information from a number of sources, but if you have specific information from legitimate sources about this, then please produce the sources and I will consider the possibility of ammending the profile.
  5. ilovefotball

    ilovefotball Member

    Feb 11, 2006
    great post ASF. for me he is amongst the top 3 players of all time.Big loss to Argentina NT when he choosed to play for Spain.
  6. PepeBotella

    PepeBotella New Member

    May 29, 2006
    He played for Argentina too (i believe only one game), and for Colombia as well.
  7. PepeBotella

    PepeBotella New Member

    May 29, 2006
    Do you speak Spanish?

    Fact based sources and the most detailed ones do come from Spain where the affaire took place.

    This link, in English, could be a good start

    "Actually, Barcelona reached
    an agreement with River Plate, the club that had the rights to Di Stefano"

    I have a collection of links from newspapers of the time where you can follow step by step what happened with the signature of Alfredo Di Stefano.
  8. argentine soccer fan

    Staff Member

    Jan 18, 2001
    San Francisco Bay Area
    CA Boca Juniors
    Nat'l Team:
    This is what your source says:

    This is what I wrote:

    Sounds like your source is in agreement with my information. Perhaps it bothers you that I stated that River 'claimed' to have rights to Di Stefano, and your source says they actually did have rights to Di Stefano. It's nitpicking, but let the discrepancy stand for the record.
  9. PepeBotella

    PepeBotella New Member

    May 29, 2006
    Thast is correct. Moreover, Barcelona also found the player they wanted as Jose Samitier, Barcelona's chief scout was at the Bernabeu watching the player.

    Here it sounds like it was Real Madrid who made a deal first. It wasn't.
    Barcelona reached an agreement with River well before Real Madrid got the deal with Millonarios. And why did Barcelona approach River and not Millonarios? Cause River owned the player. Di Stefano had scaped illegally from River Plate to join the pirate (not recognised by FIFA) Colombian League. Millonarios didn't pay River any money to get his services. That means that the transfer papers were still at River, and if you want to get a player for an association that plays under FIFA rules you need those papers, as it was the case of Spain.
    MIllonarios only rights on the player was that he could still play for them until October of 1954. That was an agreement made between the CONMEBOL and the Colombian pirate league (DIMAYOR), so that Colombian teams would be allowed to join FIFA again.

    In fact Barcelona approached Millonarios before Real Madrid too, to pay them a small compensation so that they could get the player before 1954 in amicable terms (the player also owed the club a samll amount of money).

    But then according to Ramon Trias Fargas(the lawyer in charge of the negotiations with Millonarios) the behaviour of Barcelona president was so strange that it made him wonder whether he wanted to sign the player at all, as he didn't accept a Millonarios offer that consisted in Barcelona playing just one friendly game in Colombia to let the player go. According to many he had been subjected to blackmail by the Spanish government.

    Then Real Madrid, who knew very well what was going on, joined the race to get an agreement with Millonarios. And they got it.
    And imagine the veredict of the Spanish Authorities: one club comes with his transfer papers, Barcelona. The other with an agreement with Millonarios that without a deal with River means nothing. And they decide to split the player, playing two seasons with Real MAdrid and two seasons with Barcelona. And to make it more laughable he will start playing for Real Madrid (they surely thought they would convince him to stay there before having to go back to Barcelona).
    In the middle of all this the Spanish FA forbids the signing of foreigners (to prevent Barcelona getting the player), but later they reverse the rule. When Barcelona are told that they can not sign foreign players, they try to sell their rights (River rights) to Juventus, but the Spanish FA tells them that they can not sell those rights without the consent of Real Madrid. Obvioulsy there is not consent. Unbeliveble, isn't it? (all this is in the newspaper La Vanguardia and anyone can check it here

    or get the original source here (but need to pay the subscription ;) ).

    There are many other dodgy things but these can give you an idea of what was going on.
  10. argentine soccer fan

    Staff Member

    Jan 18, 2001
    San Francisco Bay Area
    CA Boca Juniors
    Nat'l Team:
    Nothing of what you say contradicts anything I said. In fact you seem to agree that Real Madrid negotiated with Millionarios and Barcelona negotiated with River, and the Spanish courts decided he would play one year with each club, and then Barcelona gave him up. That is fact. Certainly it was an unusual situation because Di Stefano was coming from playing three years in league not affiliated with FIFA, (a fact that I made very clear in my profile), and his last FIFA affiliated club had been River Plate.

    If you want to add that it was the Spanish government that pressured Barcelona to give him up, I don't know anything about that. I didn't include anything about it because I didn't see it mentioned in any of my sources, including Di Stefano's own comments about his career.

    I'm not saying it didn't happen, and certainly such actions wouldn't surprise me from Francisco Franco's regime. What I wrote does not claim that what you say never happened. It just doesn't mention it because it was not in any of my sources.

    My objective is to highlight what Di Stefano accomplished on the field as a player, not to argue about the details of his transfer to Real Madrid and the politics of FIFA and Spain.

    Do you agree with my assesment of Di Stefano as a player?
  11. ilovefotball

    ilovefotball Member

    Feb 11, 2006
    i believe he played 6 games for Argentina and then Colombia and at last for Spain. so that was a lost because he played for other countries rather than Argentina.
  12. argentine soccer fan

    Staff Member

    Jan 18, 2001
    San Francisco Bay Area
    CA Boca Juniors
    Nat'l Team:
    These are the statistics I posted:

    Argentina 6 (1947) / 6 goals
    Columbia 4 / 0 goals (not recognized by FIFA)
    Spain 31 (1957-1961) / 23 goals

    As I mentioned, he won the 1947 Copa America with Argentina and scored 6 goals in 6 matches. That tournament was the only time he played for his birth country.
  13. lanman

    lanman BigSoccer Supporter

    Aug 30, 2002
    The only thing to remember about his caps for Columbia is that they are not recognised as official games by FIFA due to the situation with the Columbian league at the time.
  14. Viola Star

    Viola Star Member

    May 9, 2006
    ACF Fiorentina
    Why didn't he stay loyal to Argentina?
    Would they have won a World Cup during this era with him in the side?
  15. EnnatzIsTheMan

    Meidericher Spielverein
    Mar 16, 2018
    Which source did you use regarding the league matches and goals? There are some differences to his wikipedia site, which i of course do not trust at all.:laugh:

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