Alfredo Di Stefano
Alfredo Di Stefano was born in Buenos Aires in 1926. His grandfather Michele emigrated to Argentina from Italy in the 19th century. Alfredo grew up playing street football. In 1944 his father wrote to River Plate, asking them to give Alfredo a trial. He was soon a star with River Plate, where he played until 1949. He then moved to Milionarios of Bogota, at a time when many players were lured to Colombia by high wages. By 1953 Di Stefano had scored 149 goals in senior football.
In 1953, Alfredo Di Stefano came to Spain, to play for Real Madrid, but only after a tug-of-war. Barcelona had a deal to sign him, but political pressure from President Franco pushed him to Real Madrid. So Di Stefano’s identity was to be influenced by Madrid, not Barcelona, or even Argentina. From 1953 to 1964 Di Stefano starred for the most successful team in Europe. He scored 294 goals. Real won five European Cups. Like his great team-mate Puskas, Di Stefano became a Spanish citizen and had a second international career with Spain.
Alfredo Di Stefano left Real in 1964 and played two years for Espanyol. He then managed Boca Juniors in Argentina and Valencia. But Real Madrid was always his team. He managed Real between 1982 and 1984 and was made honorary President in 2000. He passed away in 2014.
Alfredo Di Stefano had multiple identities. He was born and learned his football in Argentina. He played in Colombia. He very nearly played for Barcelona. He played for Spain. But it was in Madrid he became a legend and lived out the end of his life.
Educators could look at the life story of Alfredo Di Stefano and work with young people to consider these questions:
- What does his life tell us about migration from southern Europe to Argentina and back again?
- What is the influence of football on shaping players multiple identities?
Real Madrid’s superstar Alfredo Di Stéfano scoring a goal, August 1959 (Source: El Gráfico N° 2083).
LIFE STORIES To discover now
Do you wanna know more?
HISTORY CAN BE EXPLORED THROUGH THE LIVES OF INDIVIDUALS
Browse our collection of stories about football history and inclusion. With the history of football being made up of millions of stories, of individuals and communities, of movements and processes, we offer stories that can inspire our cultural conversations today.
Get to know untold stories where individuals are making history with football. When faced with insurmountable challenges, individuals past and present can use football as a cultural force to foster positive change in society. We honour these individuals and tell their ‘untold’ stories in short videos.
Explore our innovative educational resources that use football’s history, heritage and legacy to engage young people. The resources include ready-made lesson plans and historical source collections for school history education as well as toolkit with activities for non-formal settings.
In the wake of the 2015 migration peak, activists and volunteers across Europe have been involved in supporting refugees, sometimes with the simple act of offering space and friendship to participate in football through grassroots clubs to help newcomers integrate.
BBC Sport’s Football Focus visits Bundesliga side FC Union Berlin, a “rebellious” football club from East Berlin with a special set of fans, playing their first season in Germany’s top flight 30 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall.
LATEST POST You may also be interested in
A class of high school history students in Oslo was asked to create an ideal starting XI line-up based on Human Rights. Find out why and how it went.
A loving fan and musician put together his two passions and created this compilation of tunes from the Jazz Age.
Prayer days on stadiums, faith rooms and inclusive chants: here is how English football is adapting to a changing world.
Engage young people through Football Makes History’s own Guidebook and Toolkit for promoting social inclusion in formal education or Non-formal settings
Telling the history of a city through football stories: a celebration of Amsterdam.