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Alfredo Di Stefano dead: Real Madrid legend passes away at 88

The player, regarded by many as one of the greatest of all time, suffered a heart attack on Saturday

Alfredo Di Stefano, the legendary Argentinian football player and honorary Real Madrid President, has passed away aged 88.

The news comes less than 48 hours after he suffered a heart attack on Saturday. He was being kept in an induced coma in the coronary unit at the General Universitario Gregorio Maranon Hospital.

Known as 'La Saeta Rubia' (the blond arrow), he has had several health problems in recent years and was often seen in a wheelchair in public.

Real Madrid released the following statement: "Real Madrid C. F. regrets to announce that its Honorary President, Alfredo Di Stéfano, passed away today at 17:15 in the General Universitario Gregorio Marañón Hospital in Madrid.

"The President of Real Madrid C. F., Florentino Pérez, and the club’s Board of Directors would like to express their deepest sympathy and affection to his children, family and friends. 

"Real Madrid C. F. extends these condolences to Madrid fans around the world and anyone who feels moved by the loss of the greatest player of all time."

According to reports in Spain, Di Stefano was on a street close to the Bernabeu when he had the heart attack - a day after his 88th birthday. The hospital said the emergency services were able to stabilise him.


Club president Florentino Perez had visited Di Stefano at the hospital.

Di Stefano is one of Madrid's finest ever players. He was central to the club's domination of European football in the 1950s, helping them win the European Cup for five straight seasons from 1956 to 1960.

The Argentina-born former forward played for the club from 1953 to 1964, winning eight Primera Division titles.

He is Madrid's second highest scorer in history, behind Raul, with 307 goals in all competitions.

He also had two short spells as coach of the club and is their honorary president.

Internationally, he played mainly for Spain but also represented Argentina and Colombia.