Football - My heart is young, says bridegroom to be Di Stefano

Real Madrid great Alfredo Di Stefano, who will be 87 in July, has proved he still has plenty of joie de vivre by announcing he plans to marry a Costa Rican woman 50 years his junior.


Considered one of the greatest players of all time, Argentina-born Di Stefano said he was getting married to the 36-year-old Gina Gonzalez in the next few weeks "because I want to and I have been a widower for eight years".

"Each madman to their own," he was quoted as saying in Saturday's edition of El Mundo newspaper.

"I am in love and I am marrying Gina," he added. "I am 86 but I have a young heart."

Di Stefano, now honorary Real president, has had his share of health problems in recent years and these days is often seen in public in a wheelchair.

He said he had met Gonzalez when she helped in the preparation of his book and that his "sense of humour" had won her over.

Asked what his children made of the marriage plans, he added: "What do you think they would say? They might be against it. But that is not important to me.

"I am interested in my life and nothing else. And not making a lot of trouble.

"They are going to have a go at me but I will take it with sincerity. If any wants to ask me then let them do it and I will explain it to them."

Known as "La Saeta Rubia" (the blond arrow), Di Stefano's achievements as a player helped turn Real, whom he joined in 1953, into one of the world's leading sides.

He transformed them from under-achievers into the kings of the continent when he guided them to five successive European Cups between 1956 and 1960, scoring in each of the finals.

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