Buenos Aires, July 8 IANS | 5 months ago

Argentina Football Association (AFA) Monday expressed its "profound sorrow" at the death of football great Alfredo Di Stefano.

Di Stefano, who passed away Monday at the age of 88 after suffering a heart attack Saturday, was an Argentine-Spanish football player and coach, considered one of the world's top five players ever, Xinhua reported.

"Football is in mourning," the AFA said in a press release." "The entire world mourns the death of a true international icon."

Di Stefano passed away in Madrid, where he was residing. He was born July 4, 1926 in Argentina's capital Buenos Aires and went on to win five European championships and eight Spanish leagues with football club Real Madrid.

During his brilliant career, he scored 789 goals in 1,090 games, and played for the national teams of Argentina and Spain, though he never got to compete in a World Cup.

The former forward, nicknamed "Blond Arrow", was named by the world football governing body FIFA as one of the top five football players of the 20th century, after Brazil's Pele, Germany's Franz Beckenbauer, Argentina's Diego Maradona and Holland's Johan Cruyff.

Real Madrid named him honorary president in 2000 and six years later named its training grounds after the footballer and erected a statue to him there.

As a coach, Di Stefano won six championships: two with Boca Juniors, two with Valencia, one with Real Madrid and one with River Plate.

(Posted on 08-07-2014)

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