Ten years without Alfredo Di Stefano: his great love, the death of his daughter, and a girlfriend 50 years younger than him

On July 7, 2014, the legendary footballer died at the Gregorio Marañón Hospital in Madrid.
Alfredo DiStefano. La Saeta Rubia, the nickname by which the Real Madrid player was known, was 88 years old and was one of the four historical greats, Maradona, Pelé and Johan Cruyff. Naturalized Spaniard, the Argentine athlete had been suffering from heart problems for almost a decade and was unable to overcome his illness. King Felipe VI, Ana Botella, Iker Casillas, Florentino Pérez, Fernando Fernández Tapias and many others passed by his funeral chapel.

There are two love stories that marked Di Stefano’s life:
His wife, Sara Freites Varela, now deceasedand his girlfriend Gina González, whose relationship generated enormous controversy. Before going into more details about this controversial couple, we will look back a little further to remember his late wife who was key in his rise to the Olympus of the football gods.

It was in May 2005 when
Sara Freites Varela diedthe woman with whom the honorary president of Real Madrid had shared his entire life, in the same hospital where he also died. They had married in 1950 and the footballer was clearly committed to a quiet family, without surprises or distractions that would prevent him from performing on the field as he wanted.

In these terms he told
his biographer, Luis Miguel Gonzálezhow he experienced the change in his marital status: «The holidays arrived and I returned to Buenos Aires. I told Sara, my girlfriend, to tell her family that we were going to get married. We got married on January 5, 1950, and on the 15th of the same month I returned to Bogotá with my wife. It was a very simple and humble ceremony.»

Another interesting source to give us an idea of ​​his personality is the conclusion that González Ruano drew after an interview in 1954, when Alfredo
Di Stefano was only 27 years old. This is the journalist’s assessment of the situation: “Di Stefano is married. He has two children. I have been told that he is a homebody, a very good husband, a very good son, a very good father.”

The admiration of Alfredo Di Stefano

The player’s routine was then revealed, as he got up around eight in the morning, played for a while with his daughters
(he had six children in total)He had a mate for breakfast and went to train. He used to go for a walk with his wife in the afternoons and did not stay up late. Di Stefano said that he wanted the money to invest in land and livestock. He did not accept Santiago Bernabéu’s suggestion that he buy the land opposite Chamartín, in Madrid. A missed opportunity.

In a conversation shortly before he died, Di Stefano spoke at length about his wife and how his life changed when they settled in Madrid,
after signing for the white team in 1953: «It was my wife who practically had to take care of the household and the children, shouldering the whole gang. She was the engine and we were the wagons. Sometimes a child would get sick and my wife wouldn’t tell me so as not to worry me. If there was a dinner party, she would go, but she would go back to bed early. The next morning she was up at eight. She took great care of me.»

Alfredo Di Stefano, in an image captured in Scotland. /


It was in 2002 when Di Stefano’s biographer met the woman who would be the footballer’s last love,
Costa Rican Gina Gonzalez, 37 years oldHer contract with the club ended in 2006, but she was contacted to collaborate on the writing of Di Stefano’s biography in 2007, with the intention of publishing it the following year. This was when the star met the team that was going to work on the book and so did love at first sight.

Gina was going to be in charge of transcribing the interviews, but
He began to frequent Di Stefano In his office, as his biographer recounts that the former footballer told him: “I’m getting fond of this woman. She cares a lot about me. From time to time we go to lunch. She’s also Latin American and I, like most people born in South America, have a great affection for them.”

Gina’s arrival caused some friction with her environment and the relationship that
the honorary president of Real Madrid The relationship she had with her teammates at the time deteriorated, according to her biographer. She was banned from the club at one point, but a director told her biographer: “We can’t do anything about it because we respect and love Alfredo very much. Moreover, both the president and I think that the affection this girl shows Di Stéfano not only makes him very excited, but also brings him back to life. At his age, Alfredo needs a lot of affection.”

The premature death of his daughter

When Di Stefano’s children learned of his intentions to marry Gina, they went to court and obtained temporary custody, because they considered that their father was not capable of making certain decisions. She stopped having access to him and gave some interviews that were not very edifying for certain people, claiming the great love she claimed to have felt for him. Finally,
He left him nothing in his inheritance.

A terrible blow for Alfredo was
the death of his daughter Nanette at the age of 60 in 2013. The news was made public by the white club through a statement: “Real Madrid CF regrets the death of Nanette Norma Di Stéfano, daughter of the honorary president of Real Madrid, Alfredo Di Stéfano, and wishes to convey its condolences to family and friends.”

Di Stefano’s figure remains alive in the memory of his admirers. Up to 16,000 people passed by his funeral chapel in the Bernabéu’s presidential box. Days after his burial, a family mass was held, attended by the team’s top brass, including Casillas with Sara Carbonero, and Sergio Ramos with Pilar Rubio; Emilio Butragueño, Fernando Hierro, Father Ángel and
many anonymous figures who admired him so much .

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