Alfredo Di Stefano suffers heart attack: Real Madrid legend is in a critical condition after suffering an 18-minute respiratory arrest

Former Argentina, Colombia and Spain forward was fitted with a pacemaker after heart surgery in 2005

Real Madrid great Alfredo Di Stefano, 88, is in a critical condition after suffering a heart attack on Saturday, sources from the Spanish capital's emergency services told Reuters.

One of the greatest footballers of all time, Argentina-born Di Stefano was taken to the intensive care unit of Madrid's Gregorio Maranon hospital after an 18-minute respiratory arrest, said the sources who declined to be identified.

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

Di Stefano was fitted with a pacemaker in 2005 following heart surgery.


His achievements as a player helped turn Real, the club he joined in 1953, into one of the world's leading sides.

The skilful Di Stefano featured in attack when the Madrid team won five successive European Cups between 1956-60 and he scored in each of the finals.