WHAT THEY SAID


Why he was the best...


HERRERA
"Alfredo Di Stéfano was the greatest footballer of all time - far better even than Pelé. He was, simultaneously, the anchor in defence, the playmaker in midfield, and the most dangerous marksman in attack."

Helenio Herrera, former coach of the Internazionale team and one of the greatest coaches of all time.


 
 
 
Comparing him with the best...
Maradona
MARADONA
"I don't know if I had been a better player than Pelé, but I can say without any doubt that Di Stéfano was better than Pelé.  I am proud when one speaks of Di Stéfano. Pelé would have flopped had he played in Europe, whereas Alfredo has played very well throughout the world. I can say that Maradona could be worse than Pelé. But I emphasize Di Stéfano was better".
Diego Maradona, former Argentina superstar told RAI, the Italian national television, in 1997.

 
 
His extraordinary versatility...
"The greatness of Di Stéfano was that, with him in your side, you had two players in every position."
Miguel Muñoz, Di Stéfano's coach at Real Madrid and the most successful coach produced by Spain.

MIGUEL MUNOZ

 
 

His leadership and tactical brilliance...


RADNEDGE
"No other player so effectively combined individual expertise with an all-embracing ability to organize a team to play to his command.  He was "total soccer" personified before the term had been invented.  Di Stéfano remains to many of us the Greatest Footballer of All Time." 
Keir Radnedge, editor of the World Soccer magazine, and perhaps the world's most respected soccer journalist.



Legacy he left behind...

 "In Madrid, the field at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium leans to the left because Alfredo Di Stéfano had played so much on this side."
The Spanish Press tried describing the extraordinary impact he made at Real Madrid.

BERNABEU STADIUM

 

His revolutionary playing style...


 LANGLEY
"He revolutionised forward play by his box-to-box mobility, his willingness to tackle back and his mastery of the attacking arts - shooting, close control, heading power and an eye for the most telling pass.  A perfect footballer."
Mike Langley, famous European soccer journalist.



His place in world soccer...

"He is arguably the best post-war player and possibly the greatest of all time.  His phenomenal stamina enabled him to play flat-out for 90 minutes - a quality that was beyond even the genius of Pele.  He had the body and the brain to allow the game to flow through him."
Graham Hart, editor of the Guiness Football Encyclopedia.



His significance in the greatest club competition...

"To his strength, stamina and electric change of pace, Di Stéfano allied superb ball control on which he put a premium.  He score goals in superabundance yet made so many for others.  If there was a King in the European Cup, it was surely Alfredo Di Stéfano." 

Brian Glanville, one of the world's most famous soccer writer.


GLANVILLE

 
 

 Impact he made in a game...

"The greatest all-round player of them all, he was a revelation in his inexhaustible ability to be everywhere on the field, scoring a goal one minute, making a crucial defensive play the next, always at the heart of the game."
Paul Gardner, top soccer writer and TV commentator in USA.



His greatness in soccer...

"No one man can make a team, yet Alfredo Di Stefano came as close to being a whole team as any soccer player in the history of the game."
The Lincoln Library of Sports Champions, the Frontier Press Company, 1989.


His uniqueness compared to others...

"Di Stéfano's ability to perform all tasks on the field elevated him above the stature of other great players." 
Richard Henshaw, editor of the Encyclopedia of World Soccer.


His technical excellence...

"In the opinion of many good judges, the greatest all-round player of all.  A center-forward who could not only score goals, but would glide all over the field, doing any job that has to be done with total assurance." 
Steve Tongue, author of World Football.


Secret of his success...

"Di Stéfano was a great player and saw things others didn't see.  He knew the game back to front and was always physically and mentally well-prepared.  Di Stéfano ranks among the greatest players for me."

Ferenc Puskas, himself one of the greatest players of all time.


PUSKAS


Impact he made in Spain...


GENTO
"He made a lot more money than us but he contributed even more.  It is difficult to imagine what Real Madrid would be like without him."
Franscico Gento, former teammate of Di Stéfano. Real have not won a single Spanish Championship before the Argentine's arrival. Now they have 27. And they have won the Champion's Cup only twice since he retired.


His greatness...

"When Madrid fans said I was the heir to Di Stefano's role in the Real team, I was more apprehensive than pleased.  For Di Stefano was the greatest player I have ever seen.  The things he did in a match will never be equalled."

Luis Del Sol, Di Stéfano's former teammate and later a star of Juventus in the 60's.
 


DEL SOL


His contribution to Real Madrid...


SANZ
"Part of this success must be attributed to Di Stéfano. We will never be able to thank him enough for all he has done for Real Madrid. Di Stéfano will always be in our hearts."

Sanz, Real Madrid president, commented on FIFA's naming them as the greatest club team of the century.
 


His standards in contemporary terms...

"Ronaldo is playing extremely well at the moment, but it will be years before he reaches the level of a Pelé or Di Stéfano."

Johan Cruyff, former player and world-famous soccer star, after Ronaldo scored, in 1996, the most hyped European league goal of the decade.
 


CRUYFF

 
 

WHAT HE SAID


ALFREDO HIMSELF
 
 
 

The Importance of Goals...
"A soccer game without goals is like an afternoon without sunshine." Di Stéfano.
He scored over 800 goals in his career.

His playing style...
"We are all footballers, and as such should be able to perform competently in all 11 positions." Di Stéfano.
Alfredo was the most complete soccer player of all-time.

What footballer he admires...
"The best player I saw in my life was Adolfo Pedernera. Undoubtedly Maradona was exceptional, fantastic. The best for years. One can also not ignore Pelé. For heaven's sake, although it is difficult to make comparisons, Pedernera was a very complete player who can play in the whole pitch." Di Stéfano.
Like Di Stéfano, Pedernera has been underrated by the subsequent generations of soccer fans. 

What soccer meant to him...
"The ball gave me prestige, gave me fame, gave me riches.  Thank you, my old friend. Because the ball I have a wonderful family, I have a son that plays soccer..." Di Stéfano.
Alfredo even had a soccer statue in front of his house.  (See the page on THE ODD FACTS.)

Why he had one of the most powerful left-footed shots
"I was right-footed, so my father didn't let me play unless I would shoot the ball with my left foot." Di Stéfano.


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