Best Known For
Argentine soccer great Alfredo Di Stéfano won two European Player of the Year awards and led Real Madrid to a record five straight European Cup championships.
Think you know about Biography?
Answer questions and see how you rank against other players.Play Now
Born on July 4, 1926, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Alfredo Di Stéfano starred for Argentine and Columbian soccer clubs from 1945 to 1953. His move to Spain brought more success, as he twice won the Ballon d'Or Award while leading Real Madrid to eight league titles and five straight European Cup championships. After managing for two decades, Di Stéfano was named honorary president of Real Madrid in 2000.
"Football's not designed for silent types. Being a genius won't make any difference if you don't gel with your teammates."
Alfredo Estéfano Di Stéfano Laulhé was born on July 4, 1926, in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The grandson of an Italian immigrant, he grew up playing soccer with a rubber ball on the streets of Barracas. After stints with local teams Unidos y Venceremos, Imán and Los Cardales, the talented teenager joined Buenos Aires' Club Atlético River Plate.
Alfredo Di Stéfano played one game for River Plate's senior club in 1945 before spending the 1946 season on loan to Club Atlético Huracán. The striker blossomed upon his return to River Plate in 1947, leading the league in scoring while helping his team win the Primera División. That same year, Di Stéfano starred for the victorious Argentinean national team at the Copa America in Ecuador with six goals in as many matches. Known by this point as "La Saeta Rubia" ("The Blond Arrow") for his hair color and speed, Di Stéfano was on his way to being recognized as one of the premier all-around talents in the world.
When Argentine soccer professionals went on strike in 1949, Di Stéfano was among the players who crossed the border to play in Colombia. He thrived for the Millonarios Fútbol Club in Bogotá, leading the club to Columbian league championships in 1949, 1951, 1952.
After the 1953 season, Di Stéfano was the subject of a complicated bidding war between Spanish giants Real Madrid and FC Barcelona. Real won the bidding, and Di Stéfano proved well worth the effort by leading the club to a whopping eight La Liga titles and a record five straight European Cup championships over an 11-year span. He had plenty of help from talented teammates Ferenc Puskás and Raymond Kopa during this period, but soccer writers acknowledged The Blond Arrow's brilliance by voting him the Ballon d'Or winner for European Player of the Year in 1957 and '59.
Di Stéfano emerged unharmed from a frightening incident in 1963, when he was kidnapped before a tournament in Venezuela to attract publicity for a guerrilla organization's campaign against government corruption. After celebrating one final La Liga title with Real in 1964, he spent two years with RCD Espanyol before announcing his retirement. Despite his staggering collection of accomplishments, the Argentine great never had the chance to display his skills in World Cup play.
Di Stéfano moved into the coaching ranks in 1967 as manager of Elche CF in Valencia, Spain. He led Boca Juniors to Primera División and Copa Argentina titles in 1969, and over the next two decades enjoyed varying levels of success with several clubs, including River Plate and Real Madrid.
profile name: Alfredo Di Stéfano profile occupation:
Sign in with Facebook to see how you and your friends are connected to famous icons.
Your Friends' Connections
Included In These Groups
Famous Cancerians 585 people in this group
To Americans, it is soccer. Elsewhere, it is called football, calcio or nogomet. Whatever your preference, with estimates of more than 250 million participants across 200-plus countries, it is a game of unmatched global reach and popularity. It's been noted that one doesn't need special size or skills to play, but of course the game's all-time greats displayed dazzling combinations of speed, smarts and athletic ability throughout their careers. Look through our roster of soccer legends, including Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Diego Maradona, and you'll understand why this sport of many names is also known as "the beautiful game."
Famous Soccer Players 54 people in this group
Famous People Born in 1926 56 people in this group