Real Madrid Legend Alfredo Di Stefano Passes Away

Mike ChiariFeatured ColumnistJuly 5, 2014

MADRID, SPAIN - NOVEMBER 26:  Alfredo Di Stefano receives the 'Marca' award 75th anniversary at the Callao cinema on November 26, 2013 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images)
Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images

Updates from Monday, July 7

Real Madrid confirmed Di Stefano's passing at the age of 88 via a press release on Monday:

The Real Madrid CF announced that its President of Honor, Alfredo Di Stéfano, died today at 17:15 at the Hospital General Universitario Gregorio Marañón in Madrid. President of Real Madrid Florentino Perez and club Board like to express its deepest condolences and all their love and affection to their children, their families and friends. 's Real Madrid CF extends condolences to those Madridistas around the world and they feel emotionally better player loss all times. President of Real Madrid CF will appear today in the Bernabeu at 19:00.

Updates from Sunday, July 6's Staff provides a statement from the Hospital General Universitario, signed by Emilio del Valle Hernandez (Head Doctor) and Francisco Fernandez-Aviles (Head of the Cardiology Service):

The patient, Alfredo Di Stefano, of 88 years of age, remains in the Coronary Unit of the Cardiology Department in the Hospital General Universitario Gregorio Marañón after suffering a cardiac arrest.

Despite having a severe heart condition, the patient is in a stable condition.

Real Madrid also provided a statement from president Florentino Perez discussing Di Stefano:


Original Text

Just one day after celebrating his 88th birthday, Real Madrid legend Alfredo Di Stefano has been hospitalized in serious condition, according to Juan Arango of The Telegraph:

Per CNN's Tancredi Palmeri, the hospitalization stems from a heart attack:

Di Stefano is unquestionably one of the greatest players in Real Madrid history, as the dynamic forward scored 216 goals in 282 appearances for Los Blancos from 1953 through 1964. Di Stefano also notably played for Millonarios and Espanyol.

He is perhaps best known for representing three different teams internationally as he played for his birth country of Argentina as well as Colombia and Spain. Di Stefano had his most success for La Roja as he netted 23 goals in 31 matches.

Despite his dominance for Spain, Di Stefano never played in the World Cup. Spain failed to qualify in 1958, while an injury kept Di Stefano out of the competition in 1962.

Even so, Di Stefano is revered as one of the greatest Spanish footballers of all time and he was honored by the FIFA World Cup's official Twitter account Friday:

Following his playing career, Di Stefano managed multiple clubs, including Real Madrid from 1990 to 1991. His greatest success came on the pitch, though, as he won the Primera Division title eight times, the European Cup on five occasions and the Copa del Rey and Intercontinental Cup once apiece.

Di Stefano has a history of heart issues. He received a pacemaker in 2005 and had a checkup on his condition back in May, according to the Associated Press (h/t Fox Soccer).

He was deemed to be in "good condition" by doctors at that point, but things have clearly worsened over the past six weeks.

Di Stefano is a beloved figure in the history of football and there is no question that those within the sport are pulling for him.


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