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FIFA World Cup
By ESPN Staff

Real lack sparkle, says Madrid legend Di Stefano

Real Madrid's honorary president Alfredo di Stefano has criticised the team for lacking sparkle despite six consecutive victories in the Primera Liga.

"They don't enthuse anyone, they don't brighten anyone up, there is no colour, there is no spectacle, there is no elegance," he told Antena 3 television after a 2-0 away win over Numancia on Saturday strengthened their grip on second place.

The champions are still nine points adrift of leaders Barcelona, who visit Racing Santander on Sunday.

Di Stefano was unimpressed with their form under Juande Ramos, who replaced Bernd Schuster in December and has tightened up their defence. They have only conceded once in six outings.

But they still appear overly reliant on a fit-again Arjen Robben despite having boosted their squad with the mid-season signings of Lassana Diarra, Klaas Jan Huntelaar, Julien Faubert and Dani Parejo.

"With one player you don't win games. They are won as a team, and the team isn't playing well," Di Stefano said.

After the resignation of president Ramon Calderon last month, local media have been speculating over who the next president may be and which leading player that person may promise to sign as part of their bid to win the summer election.

"It isn't a question of names or money. What is one player going to do? The speculation over names is for the newspapers. The best player around at present is (Barcelona's) Lionel Messi. Full stop," said Di Stefano.

Di Stefano helped Real to win five consecutive European Cups between 1956 and 1960 and was made the club's honorary president in 2000.


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