I don’t know much about Alfredo Di Stefano but what I do know is of his importance to all Madridismo. Whilst the only capacity I really knew him in was his role as Honourary President, it was clear that his attendance at every player presentation for the past 15 years was more than just a photo opportunity; he was the bench mark all new Madridista were required to aim for.
As a supporter of the modern generation of Real Madrid, I have long considered Zinedine Zidane to be the best player to have ever played in the famous white shirt and considered Raul as our greatest…it is difficult to compare generations when you were not alive to see the players of the past in action. However, alive or not, it is impossible to ignore the statistics and first hand accounts and Don Alfredo had them in abundance. Not only was he the top goal scorer in the history of Real Madrid for almost half a century but he was the inspiration within a team that won five - FIVE - European Cups back to back. Without Alfredo di Stefano, Real Madrid would perhaps just be another big club but with him we became a GREAT club. He was our Zidane, Raul, Redondo, Hierro, Ronaldo, Figo and Sergio Ramos rolled into one sublime football player.
He set us on our way to greatness by winning our first five European Cups and although he waited the rest of his life to see Real Madrid win numbers six, seven, eight and nine, he was alive to see the team of today win La Decima and that is what matters the most.
It is easy in football to forget about players who were once important until it’s too late, but Di Stefano has always been remembered. From the home of Real Madrid Castilla - Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano - to Real Madrid’s short lived personal aeroplane – La Saeta – he has always been honoured in the way his legendary status has deserved. One would expect that in death he will be viewed with even more reverence than he was whilst alive and nobody would be surprised by the bestowing of further acknowledgement and honours. He deserves them all.
There is nothing that sums up this evening quite like this photograph. #hastaelfinal
¡A por la Décima!
This is our time.
Kevin Costner as Jim Garrison (JFK) 1991