Alfredo di Stefano, honorary president of the Spanish soccer club Real Madrid, died at Madrid’s Gregorio Marañon hospital on Monday, three days after suffering cardiac arrest as he was leaving a restaurant, his family told Efe. He was 88.
Di Stefano, considered one of the four greats of world soccer together with Pele, Diego Maradona and Johan Cruyff, suffered cardiac arrest on a street near Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, and since then was in the hospital’s intensive care unit.
The legendary Real Madrid forward was in an induced coma with endotracheal intubation and artificial respiration in the Coronary Unit of Gregorio Marañon hospital, the victim of “severe cardiopathy,” doctors said.
Last Saturday around 5:00 p.m. when he left the restaurant where he had celebrated his 88th birthday with his family, Di Stefano fainted and was attended by paramedics, who after 18 minutes of cardiopulmonary resuscitation managed to bring him out of his cardiac arrest, emergency services officials told Efe.
Di Stefano had suffered a number of heart problems over the past nine years.
The honorary president of Real Madrid, considered one of the greatest soccer players in history, turned 88 last Friday.
Di Stefano was born July 4, 1926 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and was with Real Madrid from 1953 until 1964, some of the Madrid team’s most glorious years.
Di Stefano left Real Madrid in 1964 at the age of 38 after losing a European Cup final, having played 510 matches and scoring 418 goals for the white-uniformed team.
The soccer legend, a nationalized Spaniard, wore the jersey of Spain’s national team in 31 games and scored a total of 23 goals, though he never got the chance to play in a World Cup final.
In 2000, Real Madrid’s board of directors under the presidency of Florentino Perez named him the club’s honorary president.