Tributes flow for Real Madrid great Di Stefano
Tributes flowed as quickly as the news of Alfredo Di Stefano's death spread across continents, with Pele joining modern stars Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi among the thousands praising the Real Madrid great as a luminary of the game.
Di Stefano, the Argentine forward who helped lead Madrid in its glorious era in the 1950s and 60s, passed away on Monday aged 88, two days after he was hospitalized following a heart attack.
"Don Alfredo leaves us, but his memory will last forever in our hearts," Real Madrid star Ronaldo wrote on Twitter. "Legends never die. Thanks for everything Maestro."
Messi, the Barcelona star who is in Brazil preparing to lead Argentina into the World Cup semifinals against Netherlands, said: "The world lost a legend today, Don Alfredo Di Stefano."
"An amazing man on and off the field," Messi added in a Facebook post. "My thoughts are with his family and friends."
Pele posted a tribute on Twitter from Brazil, saying the "the openness between Latin American players and European clubs is very much due to the work of Alfredo Di Stefano."
"He was a trailblazer, and most of all, he was a legend of the game. God rest his soul."
Former Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson told Sky Sports News that Di Stefano was among the greatest players of all time due to his balance and poise — "unbelievable he was."
"I was very sad to hear the news. Even at 88 it is a bit of a shock," Ferguson said.
Real’s president Florentino Perez said "Real Madrid's best player has left us."
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