Soccer-Di Stefano memorabilia, including European Cup medals, to be auctioned

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(Reuters) - More than 600 items of football memorabilia belonging to the late Real Madrid forward and manager Alfredo Di Stefano - considered one of soccer's greatest ever players - will be put up for sale at Julien's Auctions in London in September.

The collection includes Di Stefano's winner's medals and trophies from European Cup finals and La Liga campaigns, Ballon d'Or awards along with various shirts, plaques, coins and personal items.

It is estimated to be worth more than $1 million.

"The family have decided now is the time for these items to be shared with the world - because he's a global icon, a superstar as regards to his career in soccer," Martin Nolan, Executive Director of Julien's, told Reuters TV.

Born in Buenos Aires, Di Stefano was a star of the Real Madrid side that dominated Spanish and European soccer in the 1950s and early 1960s.

He scored in all five European Cup finals which Real Madrid won between 1956 and 1960, including a hat-trick in the 7-3 victory over Eintracht Frankfurt at Hampden Park, Glasgow, in 1960 - a match that was taken on legendary status.

He formed a deadly striking partnership with the Hungarian Ferenc Puskas, but could play anywhere on the pitch.

Di Stefano was twice named European footballer of the year, in 1957 and 1959.

He started his career in Argentina with River Plate and also played in Colombia before joining Real Madrid in 1953, where he won eight league titles as well as the five European Cups.

He also played international soccer for Spain, Argentina and Colombia.

Di Stefano took charge of Real Madrid as manager in the 1980s and again at the start of the 1990s. He died in Madrid aged 88 in 2014.

The auction will take place on Sept. 23 and 24.

(Reporting by Gerhard Mey, Writing by Hritika Sharma; Editing by Angus MacSwan)

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