By Chris Wright
Sad news. After spending the last few days in a hospital bed as a result of suffering a heart attack on Sunday evening, one of football’s all-time greats, Alfredo Di Stefano, has passed away this evening at the age of 88…
This photo shows Di Stefano looking cool as a cucumber after being kidnapped and taken hostage for 56 hours by members of the outlawed Venezuelan pro-communist Armed Forces for National Liberation (FALN) in August of 1963.
Di Stefano was kidnapped from the Real Madrid hotel in Caracas at gun-point and held for the best part of three days before being released unscathed.
The FALN kidnapping was later written off as a publicity stunt designed to simply embarrass the Venezuelan government they were trying to overthrow.
Real Madrid’s stellar 1960 European Cup-winning side, numbering the likes of Francisco Gento, Ferenc Puskas and Alfredo Di Stefano (centre, beneath the trophy) among its number
Of course, as well as being capped by Argentina, Colombia and Spain, Di Stefano will forever be synonymous with the regal Real Madrid side of the 1950s and early 60s – playing 282 games for Los Blancos and scoring 216 goals on his way to eight Primera Division titles, five European Cups and two Ballon d’Ors.
Anyway, here’s a couple of fantastic little scenes taken from the “La Saeta Rubia” (The Blonde Arrow) movie from 1956, showing Di Stefano training at Real Madrid as well as taking a coaching session with some local kids.
Oh yeah, and he could play a bit too…
RIP, La Saeta Rubia