08/07/2014 10:30, Report by Mark Froggatt
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Sir Alex salutes Di Stefano

Sir Alex Ferguson has paid tribute to Real Madrid legend Alfredo Di Stefano, who sadly passed away on Monday at the age of 88.

Known as the ‘Saeta Rubia’ - the Blond Arrow, Di Stefano helped Los Blancos win five successive European Cups from 1956 and famously scored in each of the finals. He went on to coach Real and faced Sir Alex’s Aberdeen in the 1983 European Cup-Winners’ Cup final.

While reacting to the sad news of Di Stefano’s death on Monday, Ferguson explained why the forward must be considered one of the very best players of all time. 

“The big question which always comes up is: ‘Who are the greatest players?’” Sir Alex told Sky Sports News. “There is a phalanx of great ones – Cruyff, Maradona, Pele, Puskas and Di Stefano. Di Stefano was one of the greatest in my mind.”

Sir Alex also recalled the special moments that both managers shared before and after the match in Gothenburg.

“My greatest memory is Aberdeen beating Real Madrid in the Cup Winners’ Cup final in 1983. He was the coach at the time. It was an honour to come up against Di Stefano. 

"What I did, out of respect for him, was I bought a bottle of Scottish Malt whisky and gave it to him the night before the match when the two teams had an opportunity to train on the pitch at the venue for the final.

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