One of the greatest footballers that ever lived died yesterday and the world of football will hopefully mourne his passing with a minute silence at the first of the semi-finals tonight. It would be fitting that two of the powerhouse of world football honour Alfredo Di Stefano by giving him a minute silence because both teams represent the true nature of the footballer.
Brazil is known for its football flair and Germany for its rock solid team work. Both attributes could be tied to Alfredo Di Stefano, even though he was Argentinian by birth and played for 3 national teams (Argentina, Colombia and Spain).
The thing that fascinates me the most about Alfredo Di Stefano is that he did play for 3 national sides. This goes to show that nationalism is not pre-requisite to playing for a country. So all those idiots who kiss badges and say that a person is not sufficiently patriotic to play their best for their country is a fool and deserve derision.
Here are Alfredo Di Stefano basic stats:
- 49 goals in 59 European Cup games.
- At Colombia’s Millonarios club he scored 259 goals in 292 matches.
- For Real Madrid they appeared 7 out of th first 9 European Cup finals and won 8 national titles.
- Top scorer between 1953 to 1959 except for 1 year.
- voted European Footballer of the Year 1957 and 1959.
- In 624 matches for Real Madrid he scored 405 goals.
- In 31 international matches he scored 23 goals.
Those are the stats of a real genius and to say that it was easier to play in those days is to miss the point that it is still 11 men against 11 men.