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Di Stéfano's play style transformation

Author: Isaque Argolo | Creation Date: 2023-01-10 05:12:55

Data providers: Isaque Argolo.
Alfredo Di Stéfano was a very complete player compared to other great players. He had several characteristics, both defensive and offensive. However, he went through some phases of his career, phases that made him reach, according to himself, the peak of his career between 1954-1960. Di Stéfano was always ambitious; always looking to learn from the best and take essential features that could add to your game. As the seasons of his career passed, Di Stéfano added new features to his repertoire, making him the complete player he was when he commanded the actions of Real Madrid. PHASE I.: LA SAETA RUBIA.
For River Plate, playing either as a right winger or centre-forward, Di Stéfano possessed more physical characteristics than technical ones, although his technique was already advanced, but almost only with his right leg. He technically had an above average repertoire, he was a skilled player, but he didn't go overboard with his tricks. He wasn't as genius as José Manuel Moreno, Antonio Sastre or Adolfo Pedernera, for example, but he had superior ability. His head game was almost non-existent. Di Stéfano's technique was reflected more by efficiency; not because he wanted to show up.
He was always physically well prepared for the matches. He was a real athlete, agile and, above all, a very fast player. It was difficult to stop the burst of speed which he had when he put the ball in front — and that was his main weapon. He knew very well how to exploit defensive gaps and use his speed to his advantage.
Young Di Stéfano's style of play didn't have that much variety, no. Di Stéfano's move was almost always on the right. He also needed more attention when he was on the ball, as he didn't have that much vision and often lowered his head. Di Stéfano was a more individualistic player, he was very focused on his own glory and played for the goal. PHASE II.: BETWEEN VERSIONS
This second phase already takes place in Colombia, while he was a player for Millonarios, playing alongside Adolfo Pedernera, Néstor Rossi and Julio Cozzi.
Alfredo increases his technical repertoire and, halfway through his time at Millonarios, he begins to use his left leg with more precision and preparation. Di Stéfano, moreover, increases his mobility on the field and adds the large-scale defensive aspect to his repertoire as a player.
He was more experienced, not as impulsive as before and played more for the team. Di Stéfano was waiting for the right move, he wasn't as impulsive as before.
Although Di Stéfano, especially at the end of his career at Millonarios, already had a more balanced work-rate — defense and attack —, he was still not the conductor of the orchestra, was not the schemer, he did not organize or create for others. Di Stéfano, still on that occasion, was a player, offensively speaking, focused only on completing each play. PHASE III.: THE COMPLETE FOOTBALLER.
When Di Stéfano arrives at Real Madrid, he still had a style of play more similar to his characteristics at Millonarios, but with the field – and allowed by Real Madrid – much larger for his to operate.
As his time spent at Real Madrid passed, Di Stéfano became a complete player, he did everything on the pitch. He commanded, orchestrated Real Madrid completely. The Spanish team adapted to their style of play, through the timing and rhythm imposed by the Argentine star.
In this last phase of his exceptional journey as a footballer, Alfredo Di Stéfano was already complete. He commanded the actions of his teams, he owned the pitch in every attribute of the game.