di Stefano, Alfredo

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.
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di Stefano, Alfredo

Alfredo di Stefano, 1926–, Argentinian-born soccer star, considered one of the game's greats. Nominally a center-forward, he became famous for his versatility on the field as well as for his strength and resilience. He debuted as a pro (1944) with Buenos Aires' River Plate team and later (1949–53) played for Bogotá's Millionarios club, where he was league scoring champion (1951–52) and sparked the team to three league titles (1949, 1951–52). His greatest achievements as a player, however, were for Real Madrid (1953–64), where he was the team's career top scorer, top league scorer (1951–52), and European footballer of the year (1957, 1959), and led his team to five consecutive European Cups (1957–61) and the first World Club Cup (1960). A Spanish citizen from 1956, he played on Spain's national team from 1957 to 1961. He ended his playing career at Barcelona's RCD Espanyol and, after retiring in 1966, coached in Spain and Argentina.

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