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Soccer-Reaction to death of Alfredo Di Stefano

Reuters

MADRID, July 7 (Reuters) - Reaction to the death of former Real Madrid great Alfredo Di Stefano, 88, on Monday:

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Former Brazil great Pele on Twitter

"Today the openness between Latin American players and European clubs is very much due to the work of Alfredo Di Stefano. He was a trailblazer, and most of all, he was a legend of the game. God rest his soul."

Triple European champions Manchester United on Twitter

"We're sad to hear #RealMadrid legend Alfredo Di Stefano has passed away. The thoughts of everybody at #mufc are with his family & the club."

Former Italy defender Franco Baresi on Twitter

"It's a sad day. I want to remember Alfredo Di Stefano, one of the best players ever."

Ghana midfielder Michael Essien on Twitter

"RIP the great Alfredo Di Stefano. You will be missed in Madrid and all over the world."

Former Brazil defender Cafu on Twitter

"My condolences to the Di Stefano family, a great player whose name will remain in the world's football history."

Former Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson on Sky Sports television

"Di Stefano was one of the greatest in my mind. He had fantastic balance and poise. He was always the focus of Real Madrid wherever they went. He had a fantastic life and I'm proud to have been associated with him in a small way."

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho, formerly of Real Madrid, on the London club's website

"This is a very sad day for football ... when we lose a special person like this. Alfredo was the best Real Madrid player in history."

Former England and Manchester United midfielder Bobby Charlton on the club website

"The footballing world has lost a great player and a great man ... I had never seen such a complete footballer."

Spain midfielder Juan Mata

"RIP Alfredo di Stéfano. One of the greatest has passed away. My condolences to his family and friends."

Former England striker Michael Owen

"Saddened to hear that the Real Madrid legend Alfredo Di Stefano passed away earlier today. R.I.P.

Former England striker Gary Lineker

"Alfredo Di Stefano has died. One of the greatest players ever. Scored in 5 successive European Cup finals. A feat never to be matched." (Compiled by Tim Collings, edited by Tony Jimenez)

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