“Alfredo Di Stefano is Real Madrid.” commented Florentino Perez, Real Madrid’s president, just two hours after the death of the Spanish-Argentine star on July 7th, 2014.
This sentence describes the feelings of millions of fans of the club. Di Stefano’s weight for the Merengues (Real Madrid fans) is gigantic, boundless, colossal. Some say he was the best player in football history or at least one of the three or four best in the world. He sure was, without a doubt, the man who changed the fate of Real Madrid, and also one of the first complete players in history, which were able to play in almost all positions.
Beyond the incredible five consecutive Champions Leagues and eight Spanish Ligas in eleven seasons achievement, in which he won two Ballon d’or awards, Di Stefano left a special print in Real Madrid’s football, which led the club to conquer the world. Thanks to his genius and high achievements with the club, he has been one of the biggest reasons that made FIFA crown Real Madrid as the best club of the twentieth century.
“His legend will survive forever,” added the president of Real Madrid. “We know that the removal of a jersey number is not a common tradition in the world of football, but an exceptional footballer deserves an exceptional and eternal tribute”.
It is noteworthy that Ajax retired the jersey number 14 for Cruyff, Napoli did the same for Maradona’s number 10, as well as Inter Milan for Zanetti’s number 4, and finally Schalke for Raul Gonzalez’s number 7. For sure none of those players was as decisive in the history of his club as Di Stefano was for Real Madrid.
The Moroccan Times.