The international soccer world received some sad news Monday.
Argentinian soccer legend Alfredo Di Stefano passed away Monday morning at the age of 88, after suffering a heart attack on Saturday.
The Buenos Aires-born star had an illustrious career that spanned over two decades, but he is best known for his time with Real Madrid, where he helped the team win five consecutive European Champions Cups from 1953-64. He scored 307 goals during his 11 seasons with Madrid.
“Real Madrid announce that its honorary president, Alfredo Di Stefano, died today at the Hospital General Universitario Gregorio Maranon in Madrid,” the team said in a statement. “Real Madrid extends condolences to those Madridistas around the world and those who feel emotion at the loss of the best player of all time.”
Though Di Stefano played for Argentina, Colombia and Spain throughout a long international career, he never got the chance to play in the World Cup finals. In 1950 and 1954, while Di Stefano was playing for Argentina, the team refused to participate in the tournament.
It looked as if he would play in the 1962 Cup with Spain, but a muscle injury sidelined him for the tournament and eventually forced him to retire.
After his playing career ended, Di Stefano entered the coaching realm, leading eight different teams — including Real Madrid — over a span of more than three decades. In 2000, he was named Madrid’s honorary president, and was present at many games and team events.
Even opponents, like Sir Bobby Charlton of Manchester United, had nothing but praise for Di Stefano.
“The footballing world has lost a great player and a great man,” Charlton said, via BBC Sport.
Photo via Twitter/@FootballFact101