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  • Writer's pictureChristos Davos

Sports Stories: "Battle" for Di Stefano

The summer transfer window is "open" and all teams are trying to move smartly in the football market in order to be able to improve their live material and upgrade their roster. Thus, it is quite common for them to 'contend' at the transfer level with other clubs for the acquisition of footballers. Thus, one of the cases that went down in history is that of Alfredo Di Stefano who, before wearing the jersey of Real Madrid, created a transfer "civil war" between the two eternal rivals.

Alfredo Di Stefano was one of the greatest Argentine footballers of the last century. In the 1950s he wore the shirt of River Plate and played in the Argentinian league. However, the strike of the Argentine Footballers' Union in 1947 and the suspension of the league, changed his relations with the team as a result of which he played in Colombia with the Millionaire jersey.

In March 1952, Real Madrid celebrated its 50th anniversary and organized a tournament at its "Chamartin" stadium with the Millionaire as a guest. Di Stefano scored several times as a result of which he stood out and attracted the attention of both the Santiago Bernabeu and the Barcelona people who were on the pitch.

However, in the following period, financial problems arose in the team as a result of which Di Stefano wanted to return to River Plate. Barcelona wanted to make him theirs, they paid 4,000,000 pesetas, River agreed, but the golden ratio had to be found with Mionarios, since the Argentine had received a salary of 4,000 pesetas from Mionarios, if they did not agree, the transfer could not take place by decision of FIFA.

Somewhere around here, there are rumors that Marti who was in the management of Barcelona - essentially - tried in an oblique way to spoil the transfer, as - as they said - he had embraced right-wing beliefs. Finally, the offers for the acquisition of Di Stefano fall into the void and the Argentinian decides to take his family and give friendly matches with the Catalan shirt.

There are renewed efforts to acquire it but the Millionaire was adamant. Real Madrid then make their move but there was already the advance paid by Barcelona which made things difficult. Saporta eventually traveled to Barcelona to speak with Di Stefano and offered him a substantial salary, which satisfied Di Stefano. For their part, Barcelona with Marti tried to give Di Stefano's rights from River to Juventus, which the clubs opposed and eventually decided to ask for the advance back with River refusing both sides to go to court .

FIFA appointed the former president of the Spanish federation, Armando Muñoz Calero, in charge, who decided that the two teams would share the player every year and after four years decide where he would end up. However, by creating "photo laws" where clubs were prohibited from signing foreign players but allowed Di Stefano to play, as it applied to those whose negotiations had started after August 22, they put renewed pressure on Marti and his handling of the Di Stefano case, resulting in him resigning from Barcelona and Real Madrid filing papers to buy Di Stefano outright.

Barcelona's management committee announced that they were withdrawing from Di Stefano's claim and Real managed to make the Argentine their own, which changed their history and brought them back to the top of the Spanish league after more than 20 years. With Real Madrid, the legendary Argentine celebrated 8 championships, 2 Copa Latinas, 5 Champions Cups and 1 Intercontinental Cup.


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