Sir Bobby Charlton has led Manchester United's tributes to Real Madrid great Alfredo Di Stefano, who passed away on Monday, aged 88.
The Argentinian-born striker scored in the first five European Cup finals as the Spanish giants lifted the trophy on each occasion and was always a respected opponent for Sir Matt Busby and his players. Real were even willing to loan Di Stefano to United in the wake of the Munich disaster as they displayed their support to the club during its darkest hours.
"I was deeply saddened to hear the news of Alfredo Di Stefano's passing," Sir Bobby told ManUtd.com. "As one of the stars of the legendary Real Madrid team, I think Alfredo was one of the best players I ever came across and an extremely intelligent footballer.
"He was somebody I really respected, having watched him from the stands at the Bernabeu and then played against him. I have many fond memories of my time with Alfredo and feel privileged to be able to call him a good friend. The footballing world has lost a great player and a great man.
"I'd like to send my condolences on behalf of everybody at Manchester United to his family and our friends at Real Madrid."
Alfredo Di Stefano is pictured above scoring against Manchester United at Old Trafford in a friendly in 1959.