This player, born in Argentina, became a Spanish national, but for fans of the king of sports, it is an international heritage. La Saeta Rubia” is one of the most legendary nicknames in football history. Among those who filled stadiums and raised passions, Alfredo Di Stéfano (July 4, 1926, Argentina-July 7, 2014, Spain) was one of the first athletes to become a viral phenomenon. If you would like to know more about him, please read this biography.

Alfredo Di Stefano’s biography

The index

  • From Argentina to Colombia

  • Barcelona and Real Madrid fight over Di Stefano

  • Madrid’s golden era and his career’s end

From Argentina to Colombia

Alfredo Di Stéfano began his career at River Plate, where he made his debut in 1945. Due to his young age, however, he was loaned to Club Atlético Huracán, where he played 20 games and scored 10 goals in his first season. Despite the millionaires’ high demands, the player would end up returning to River the following season.

He began his career at River Plate in 1947, winning the Argentine League and scoring 27 goals in 30 games to begin his career explosion. In the following year, he became the first great soccer player in Argentine history. In spite of this, he failed to win the Copa Sudamericana de Campeones, also known as the Copa Libertadores.


It was revealed after his death that Real Madrid had been bribed by the Franco regime to prevent Di Stéfano from joining Barcelona.

He formed one of the best forward lines in South American football history with Adolfo Pedernera and Néstor Rossi while playing for Club Deportivo Los Millonarios de Colombia in 1950. In the four years since his arrival, the Colombian League has been won four times, and they have made interesting performances in continental tournaments that have catapulted them to international fame.

To celebrate Real Madrid’s 50th anniversary, Los Millonarios played a friendly match. The Colombians won by a score of 2-4 with great play, a solid defense, and a forward with chemistry unlike any other. As a result, Di Stéfano gained international recognition.

Di Stefano is at the center of a fight between Real Madrid and Barcelona

A player unknown in Spain became a viral phenomenon after Alfredo’s excellent performance at Real Madrid’s Golden Jubilee. It was one of the strangest signings in Spanish football’s history when Barcelona and Real Madrid were interested in hiring him.

The reason Di Stéfano arrived at Millonarios in 1950 was that he declared himself in absentia due to the low salaries they wanted to impose on soccer players in Argentina. As a result, this player and others joined various Colombian teams. However, for FIFA, the rights of these players continued to be with their clubs of origin.

With this in mind, FC Barcelona travels to Buenos Aires to discuss “La Saeta Rubia’s” transfer with River Plate personally. As for Real Madrid, it would do the same with Millonarios, causing a conflict between the four teams. FIFA decides that the player should sign a 4-year contract with Real Madrid, followed by two seasons with Barcelona, which would ensure the player’s rights would be protected.

In response, Barcelona’s president resigned and called FIFA’s decision “a shame”. After freely negotiating with River Plate and Millionaires, Di Stéfano joined Real Madrid in 1953.

His golden era in Madrid and the end of his career

The arrival of Di Stéfano in Madrid took place in 1953. When Ladislao Kubala was the benchmark, FC Barcelona was the absolute dominant force in Spain. When Di Stéfano arrived in the capital in 1954, he formed with Paco Gento and Puskas a legendary team that won the first Spanish Professional Soccer League.

For the first time in 1955, UEFA organized the European Cup, in which the champions of the continent competed to determine who was the best. With Di Stéfano as its leading star, Real Madrid won the tournament five times in a row with astonishing superiority, dominating European football.

With Di Stéfano at Real Madrid, the team won eight league titles, changing FC Barcelona’s dominant trend. The FIFA list of the top five players of the 20th century includes him as a winner of the Ballon d’Or twice.

Finally, on July 5, 2014, Alfredo Di Stéfano passed away after a cardiorespiratory arrest.

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