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Alfredo Stefano Di Stefano Laulhé played for Real Madrid from 1953 to 1964. Although traditionally described as a center forward, Di Stefano was one of the most complete players ever. He could play all over the pitch, and was well known for being in the defense one moment only to pop up out of nowhere to score a goal the next. He could head the ball, dribble, and shoot with the right or the left foot. He could also score volleys from distance; the first gif is a goal from a friendly vs Stade de Reims. Keep in mind the balls back then were much heavier than today and that when he scored that goal, Di Stefano was 36. The second gif should look similar to a certain current Real Madrid forward, no? :) The final gif is a favorite goal of mine: Di Stefano charges the keeper, feints, causes the keeper to trip sideways. Di Stefano then proceeds to jog/walk the goal across the line, as if he had all the time in the world. 

For decades Di Stefano held the record for most goals scored in European Cup (Champions League today) until it was broken by Raúl in 2005. He still holds the Real Madrid record for second-most goals scored in La Liga (after Raúl). Di Stefano led Real Madrid’s attack along with the likes of Puskas and Gento when Los Vikingos won 5 consecutive European Cups; he scored in every final and even got a hat trick in the fifth. 

I could go on for days about him, but I know I’m not alone when I say he is one of the greatest footballers ever, a living a legend. It is an honor to know he wore the white shirt, that he is a part of Real Madrid’s history, our history. Gracias y feliz cumpleaños, Don Alfredo.

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