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 Posted by Dermot Corrigan
Jul 9, 2014

Di Stefano to have street in his name

Real Madrid fans have been out in force to mourn club legend Alfredo Di Stefano, as he coffin went on public display.

Real Madrid legend Alfredo Di Stefano is to have a street named after him in the Spanish capital.

Di Stefano passed away in a Madrid hospital on Monday, having suffered a heart attack while celebrating his 88th birthday last weekend.

The former Argentina and Spain international, who won five European Cups, eight La Liga trophies and two Ballon D'Or awards while at Madrid, has been widely hailed as one of the greatest players of all time.

On Tuesday thousands of Blancos fans visited the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, where his coffin is on public display, to pay their respects in person. Many figures from Spanish sporting and public life also attended, including Ana Botella, the mayor of Madrid, who said a plan was already in place to name a street after a player who had become Real's honorary president.

"[Di Stefano] made Real Madrid great and took the name of Spain's capital around the world," Botella told the club's website. "The city authority is going to propose to name a public space or a street in his honour."

Also among the visitors at the Bernabeu on Tuesday was Spain's recently crowned King Felipe VI, who told the club's website that Di Stefano had been "a great among greats."

"First, I would like to pass my condolences on to his family, to the Real Madrid family, to the club and to the whole of Spanish football," Felipe said. "He is a one-off, who made football into an art. He was an extraordinary personality and has our eternal admiration and gratitude. A great among greats."

Alfredo Di Stefano (July 4, 1926 - July 7, 2014)

• 308 goals in 11 seasons for Real Madrid.
• Two-time Ballon d'Or winner (1957, 1959).
• Eight La Liga titles, five European Cups with Madrid.
• Scored 50 goals in 60 European Cup matches.
• 31 international caps for Spain, scoring 23 goals.
• Argentina born, he also played six times for the Albiceleste
• Also played for River Plate, Millionarios (COL). Espanyol (ESP).
• Coached eight teams, including Real Madrid and Valencia.
• Real Madrid Castilla play at Alfredo di Stefano Stadium.

UEFA general secretary Gianni Infantino was also present on Tuesday, as were representatives from many clubs including Benfica, Espanyol, Real Valladolid, Sevilla, Levante, Deportivo, Valencia, Sevilla, Betis, Almeria, Atletico Madrid and Barcelona.

Barca president Josep-Maria Bartomeu, whose club thought they had signed Di Stefano in 1953 before he joined Madrid, also paid tribute.

"[Di Stefano] is a universal figure," Bartomeu said. "We have lost a Real Madrid great and one of the greatest. He had a different way of playing. A lot of things that happen today we have inherited from Don Alfredo."

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