02 July 2012
Realmadrid.com / Translation by Michael J. O'Donnell
Alfredo di Stefano arrived at Real Madrid nearly 60 years ago, but he had started his footballing career in the academy of historic Argentinean side River Plate. He debuted with the first team when he was 18 years old, winning the league title and becoming the championship's top scorer only two years later. A representation of the River Plate academy visited the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium on Monday morning and met with the Real Madrid Honorary President.
"He left Argentina many years ago, but we still remember him," said a member of the delegation, "He is a legend and one of the best players in history. The younger players may not be able to fully grasp his importance, but it is a dream for us to share some time with him. I am deeply moved."
"I watch every Real Madrid game in Argentina," added Leandro Dofour, one of the team captains, "The stadium looks very big on TV, but it's even more impressive when you're on the pitch."
A beautiful moment of the visit was seeing the other captain, German Gajo, presenting Di Stefano with a photograph taken decades ago featuring him and Gajo's grandfather. He also gave him a letter his grandfather had written.
The coaches were also thrilled with the visit, Raulk Giustozzi in particular, given that he once played at the stadium in 1973. "It makes me very happy to return to such an historic stadium," he said, "I hope these kids follow in the footstepos of Gonzalo Higuain, who played at River's academy and signed for the best club in the world at a very young age."