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Alfredo Di Stefano
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Soccer Player
    (July 4, 1926-July 7, 2014)
    Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina
    Played for River Plate (1945-51), Millonarios (1951-53), Real Madrid (1953-64) and Espanyol (1964-66)
    Managed Elche (1967-68), Boca Juniors (1969-70,1985), Valencia (1970-74,1979-80,1986-88), Sporting CP (1974), Rayo Vallecano (1975-76), Castellon (1976-77), River Plate (1981-82) and Real Madrid (1982-84,1990-91)
    Two-time winner of the Ballon d'Or as European Player of the Year (1957,1959)
    He was nicknamed 'the Blond Arrow.'
    Both FC Barcelona and Real Madrid claimed to have signed him.
    Dictator Francisco Franco was rumored to have intervened to get Barcelona to drop its claim for a compensation payment of 5.5 million pesetas.
    Despite playing internationally for three countries (Argentina, Colombia and Spain), he never played in the World Cup.
    He led Real Madrid to five consecutive European Cup championships (1956-60).
    During a Real Madrid tour of South America, he was kidnapped for three days by the Venezuelan revolutionary group FALN (August 24-26, 1963).
    The Spanish Football Federation named him the most outstanding player of the past 50 years (2003).
    He said, 'Being a genius won't make any difference if you don't gel with your teammates.'
    His Real Madrid coach said having him on the team was 'like having two players at every position.'

Credit: C. Fishel

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