Real Madrid legend Alfredo Di Stefano has passed on, at the age of 88.
The Argentina-born forward suffered a heart attack on Saturday and had been in an induced coma in Madrid’s Gregorio Maranon hospital.
Spanish giants Real confirmed the news, saying Di Stefano, their honorary president, died at 1715 CET (4:15 Nigerian time).
The forward won five straight European Cups, scoring in each final between 1956 and 1960.
Regarded as one of the most influential football icons of all-time, Di Stefano won eight Spanish league titles and was voted European player of the year in 1957 and 1959.
He quit ‘Los Blancos’ in 1964 at the age of 38, after scoring more than 300 goals in 11 seasons.
“Myself and the Real Madrid board like to express our deepest condolences, all our love and affection ton Di Stefano’s children, families and friends,” the reigning European champions president Florentino Perez said.
Di Stefano featured for three nations, namely: Argentina, Colombia and Spain, at international level, but never at the World Cup.
He won six and four caps- unofficial by Fifa- for Argentina and Colombia respectively during a spell in the country’s league.
Di Stefano eventually won 31 Spanish caps, scoring 23 goals for Spain, after Fifa had reversed its initial decision (in 1954) to stop him from featuring for the ‘La Roja’ in 1957.