sâmbătă, 24 septembrie 2011

Succes 2011: Alfredo Di Stéfano, "Saeta rubia". Footballer selected as the Golden Player of Spain by the Royal Spanish Football Federation

Alfredo Stéfano Di Stéfano Laulhé (born 4 July 1926 in Barracas, Buenos Aires), born into a family of Italian immigrants from Capri,is a former Argentinian footballer and coach, widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time. He is most associated with Real Madrid and was instrumental in their domination of the European Champions' Cup during the 1950s, a period in which the club won the trophy in five consecutive seasons from 1956. Di Stéfano played international football mostly for Spain, but he also played for Argentina and Colombia.Di Stéfano, nicknamed "Saeta rubia" ("blond arrow"), was a powerful forward with great stamina, tactical versatility, and vision, who could also play almost anywhere on the pitch. He is currently the 4th highest scorer in the history of Spain's top division, and Real Madrid's 2nd highest league goalscorer of all time, with 216 goals in 282 league matches between 1953 and 1964.
 In November 2003, to celebrate UEFA's Jubilee, he was selected as the Golden Player of Spain by the Royal Spanish Football Federation as their most outstanding player of the past 50 years. He was named by Pelé as one of the "top 125 greatest living footballers" in March 2004 (in September 2009 he said Di Stéfano was the best player "ever"). Di Stéfano was voted fourth, behind Pelé, Diego Maradona, and Johan Cruyff, in a vote organized by the French weekly magazine France Football consulting their former Ballon d'Or winners to elect the Football Player of the Century.

Former players such as Pelé, Eusébio, Luis Suárez, Sandro Mazzola and John Charles described Di Stefano as "the most complete footballer in the history of the game". Alfredo Di Stéfano born into a family of Italian immigrants from Nicolosi, near Catania ("from Capri" it's fake without verification). Began his career at Argentina's River Plate aged 17, in 1943. For the 1946 season he was loaned to Club Atlético Huracán, but he returned to River in 1947. Due to a footballer's strike in Argentina in 1949, Di Stéfano went to play for Millonarios of Bogotá in the Colombian league. He won six league titles during the first 12 years of his career in Argentina and Colombia.
Di Stéfano is best known for his time at Real Madrid where he was an integral part of one of the most successful teams of all time. He scored a club record 216 league goals in 262 games for Real, striking up a fearsome partnership with Ferenc Puskás. Di Stéfano's 49 goals in 58 matches was for decades the all-time highest tally in the European Cup, until it was surpassed by Real Madrid's Raúl in 2005, and Milan's Andriy Shevchenko and Real Madrid's Ruud van Nistelrooy in 2006. Perhaps the highlight of his time with the club was their 7–3 victory over Eintracht Frankfurt in the 1960 European Cup Final at Hampden Park, a game many consider to be the finest exhibition of club football ever witnessed in Europe. He was voted European Footballer of the Year in 1957 and 1959.
He moved to Espanyol in 1964 and played there until hanging up his boots at the age of 40.
One year after his retirement as footballer, a testimonial match was held on 7 June 1967 and played for a trophy which named after himself. The Alfredo Di Stéfano Trophy or Alfredo Di Stéfano Cup was won by Celtic of Scotland. The trophy was contested in a match between Real Madrid and Celtic at Real's Santiago Bernabéu Stadium in Madrid. The match took place 2 weeks after Celtic's victory in the European Cup 1967. Celtic won the match 0–1, with Bobby Lennox scoring the victory and Jimmy Johnstone stealing the show.
At one stage the whole stadium began to shout "Olé!" when Johnstone dribbled and dodged of their own team's players, at the full time the whole stadium applauded him.
The match was also seen as the battle to determine the true champions of Europe caused Real Madrid had won European Cup in the previous year as the most successful club with six times in total.
Di Stéfano played with three different national teams during his career: he played six times with the Argentine national team, twice with Colombia (not recognized by FIFA) and 31 times with the Spanish national team. However, he never played in the World Cup Finals.

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