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  1. ITV Report

Real Madrid legend Alfredo Di Stefano dies, aged 88

Alfredo Di Stefano, 37, for an England v Rest of the World match at Wembley. Photo: PA/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Footballing legend and the man Real Madrid describe as their greatest ever player, Alfredo Di Stefano, has died aged 88.

In a glittering career, the Argentina born striker won five straight European Cups with the Spanish side, scoring in each final between 1956 and 1960

Di Stefano also won eight Spanish league titles and was voted European player of the year in 1957 and 1959. Having scored more than 300 goals in 11 seasons, he left the club in 1964 aged 38.

Alfredo Di Stefano playing with Real Madrid. Credit: Topham Picturepoint/Topham Picturepoint/Press Association Images

Di Stefano never replicated his club form at international level where he played for three nations and he never appeared at a World Cup. He won six caps for Argentina and played four times for Colombia during a spell in that country's league. However, his Colombia caps are not officially recognised by Fifa.

Football's governing body said in 1954 he could not play for Spain but reversed that decision in 1957 after he gained citizenship and he went on to win 31 caps, scoring 23 goals for the country.

After hanging up his boots, Di Stefano moved into management leading River Plate and Boca Juniors to league titles in Argentina before winning more silverware in Spain with Valencia.

Twice he took the helm at his beloved Real Madrid, in 1982 and then again for five months in 1990, when he led the team to a Spanish Super Cup victory against their bitter rivals Barcelona.

Real Madrid made him honorary Real president in 2000.

Alfredo Di Stefano shortly before his death aged 88. Credit: Press Association

Blighted by health problems in recent years, in 2005 he was fitted with a pacemaker after heart surgery.

On Saturday, the day after his 88th birthday, Di Stefano suffered a cardiac arrest in the street near Real Madrid’s Bernabéu stadium. It lasted 18 minutes according to the emergency services.

Tributes poured in from the football community, led by former Real Madrid manager and current Chelsea boss, Jose Mourinho, who called Di Stefano, "a special person."

Cristiano Ronaldo also tweeted that it was "a very sad day" for the world of football.

No details about the funeral have been released.