Alfredo Di Stéfano, the legendary Argentinian football player and honorary Real Madrid President, has passed away aged 88.
Argentina-born Di Stéfano had been kept in an induced coma at the Gregorio Marañón Hospital in Madrid, Spain after having been resuscitated on a Madrid street by paramedics following a heart attack on Saturday.
Di Stéfano, a diabetic, underwent a quadruple aorta-coronary bypass with a pacemaker implanted in December 2005 after suffering a myocardial infarction. He had also been hospitalised several times in recent years to monitor his heart condition and was often seen in a wheelchair in public.
According to reports in Spain, Di Stéfano was on a street close to the Bernabeu when he had the heart attack - a day after his 88th birthday. The hospital said the emergency services were able to stabilise him.
The news of his death was confirmed by Real on Monday.
A club statement read: "Real Madrid extends its condolences to madridistas all over the world and to those who feel the loss of the best player of all time."
Dubbed "La Saeta Rubia" ("The Blond Arrow") for his speed, Di Stefano helped Madrid win five straight European Cups from 1956-60, and eight Spanish league titles. He was voted European player of the year in 1957 and 1959.
He retired at the age of 40 in 1966, ending a 22-year playing career in which he had also represented Colombia and Spain at international level.
Tributes came in from several Spanish and international clubs and players all over the world following the news of his death.
FC Barcelona expresses its condolences for the death of Alfredo Di Stéfano, honorary president of Real Madrid. Rest in peace— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) July 7, 2014
El Athletic Club muestra sus condolencias a la familia y al Real Madrid por el fallecimiento de su presidente de honor Alfredo Di Stéfano.— Athletic Club (@AthleticClub) July 7, 2014
Farewell to a football legend. Rest in peace Alfredo Di Stefano. pic.twitter.com/OD59fdGAfn— Chelsea FC (@chelseafc) July 7, 2014
DEP Don Alfredo, el más grande. Leyenda del madridismo, siempre con nosotros. Siempre le recordaré MAESTRO. pic.twitter.com/qsdlF8TT96— Iker Casillas (@CasillasWorld) July 7, 2014
RIP Sir Alfredo Di Stefano. I will never forget each of the shared moments with such a football legend. pic.twitter.com/J4FFcXM9ph— Sergio Ramos (@SergioRamos) July 7, 2014
Don Alfredo leaves us, but his memory will last forever in our hearts. Legends never die. Thanks for everything Maestro. #EternoAlfredo— Cristiano Ronaldo (@Cristiano) July 7, 2014
La leyenda del Real Madrid empezó contigo. Fuiste nuestra inspiración y lo serás siempre. DEP, Don Alfredo. pic.twitter.com/psBgRVgwzc— Marcelo Vieira (@12MarceloV) July 7, 2014
DEP Don Alfredo Di Stéfano. ' Ya corre La Saeta'— Xabi Alonso (@XabiAlonso) July 7, 2014
Hasta siempre Don Alfredo y gracias por todo !— Karim Benzema (@Benzema) July 7, 2014
Descansa en paz Don Alfredo, historia y leyenda de este club. pic.twitter.com/HA24QPJWpb— Álvaro Morata (@AlvaroMorata) July 7, 2014
Se nos fue un mito para el madridismo. DEP Don Alfredo Di Stefano— JeseRodriguez10 (@JeseRodriguez10) July 7, 2014
Descansa en paz Don Alfredo, leyenda y ejemplo para todo el mundo del fútbol. Todo mi apoyo para sus seres queridos. pic.twitter.com/IBKS3PArbe— nacho fernandez. (@nachofi1990) July 7, 2014
D.E.P. Don Alfredo Di Stéfano, siempre serás una leyenda para todo el madridismo. Mucho ánimo a familia y amigos.— Dani Carvajal Ramos (@DaniCarvajal92) July 7, 2014
R.I.P. Alfredo Di Stéfano— Mesut Özil (@MesutOzil1088) July 7, 2014
RIP Don Alfredo, a football legend. My condolences to his family and friends— David Villa (@Guaje7Villa) July 7, 2014
A sad day for the world of football. One of the greatest has passed away. RIP Don Alfredo di Stéfano— David De Gea (@D_DeGea) July 7, 2014
Maradona on Di Stefano: "I don't know if I was a better player than Pele but I can say without doubt that Di Stefano was better than Pele."— Richard Martin (@rich9908) July 7, 2014
-@Pele: "People talk about the best being Pele or Diego Maradona, but for me the best player ever was Alfredo Di Stefano."— Real Madrid Info (@RmadridInfo) July 7, 2014