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Real Madrid great Di Stefano turns 85

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Looking back 60 years at grainy footage of his playing days, it is hard for us to get a clear sense of how good a player Alfredo Di Stefano, who turned 85 on Monday, really was.

Those who were privileged to see the Real Madrid great performing in the flesh say he was one of the most complete footballers to have graced the game.

An accomplished defender, a midfield workhorse, a playmaker and a prolific striker rolled into one, he could be seen covering back in defence, charging forward through midfield, laying on goals for the forwards and smashing shots into the net all in the same game.

Known as “La Saeta Rubia” (the blond arrow), Buenos Aires-born Di Stefano remains in robust health, regularly appears at club events in his capacity as honorary president and has a lively newspaper column in Marca sports daily.

Soccer Break Tuesday

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SOCCER-ENGLAND/CUPShort and sweet today with little news on Monday and plenty of action to look forward to this week.

Manchester United will look to stretch their Premier League lead against Newcastle United on Tuesday, though will their Wembley antics distract them? ‘A hole lot of trouble for United’ read one headline.

One down, three to go…..

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SOCCER-SPAIN/CLASICOIn our latest Monday post on Spanish soccer, Mark Elkington in Madrid reviews the first of four games in three competitions in 18 days between arch rivals Barcelona and Real Madrid and takes a look at surprise La Liga package Levante.

One down, three to go

Real Madrid and Barcelona achieved their primary aims in Saturday´s 1-1 “Clasico” draw, the first of four titanic clashes between the arch rivals in 18 days.

John Terry in a West Ham shirt is just gonna look wrong!

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PHOTO: We are half-used to seeing former Hammer Frank Lampard in a West Ham shirt (see this Ian Hodgson pic from 1998) but John Terry?

That shirt? Well yes it suits you sir, but looks a little strange ….!

 There are certain things you simply don’t expect to see in football like John Terry in a West Ham shirt or … and this one is for older fans …. Alfredo Di Stefano in Barcelona’s red and blue rather than the all-white of Real Madrid.

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