di stefano

Real Madrid legend Alfredo Di Stefano dies at the age of 88

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One of the greatest players the world has ever seen passed away on Monday, as Alfredo Di Stéfano has died at the age of 88.

According to the Reuters news agency and Spanish newspapers, Di Stefano died on Monday in hospital after he suffered a heart attack on Saturday as he was walking in the street close to Real Madrid’s Bernabeu Stadium. Since Saturday he has been in an induced coma in the intensive care unit at the Gregorio Marañon hospital in central Madrid.

Here is the official release on Di Stefano’s death (in Spanish) as fans of Real, Argentina, Spain and soccer fans across the globe are mourning the death of a true soccer legend.

[ VIDEO – The story of global icon, Di Stefano ]

[ RELATED: Fact file on Di Stefano’s career ]

The honorary president of Real Madrid, and one of the best players in the clubs history, could no longer fight on after several health issues over the previous years.  In 2005 he was fitted with a pacemaker after suffering a myocardial infarction. In the past years, his role as honorary president saw Di Stefano being present at every single player unveiling at Real Madrid. He was the talisman for one of the greatest clubs in the world.

A former international for Argentina, Colombia and Spain, Di Stefano joined Real Madrid in 1953 and was the leading light as they became the greatest team Europe has ever seen. Di Stefano scored in five-straight European Cup finals as Real won all five from 1956 to 1960. The Argentine-born striker was one of the greatest players the game has ever seen, as his marauding, yet powerful, style won him fans across the world. He was a hero at Real Madrid.

Di Stefano won six caps for Argentina and played four times for Colombia during a spell in that country’s league. FIFA failed to recognize his caps for Colombia and in 1954 they said he could not play for Spain. However they then reversed that decision in 1957 after Di Stefano became a Spanish citizen as he won 31 caps for Spain, scoring 23 goals.

His death will bring great sadness to the entire soccer community, as a true legend of the game has been lost.

RIP, Alfredo. The legend of ‘the blond arrow’ will live on forever.

Report: Atletico’s Fernando Torres has interest from MLS, NASL

Real Madrid v Atletico de Madrid - Copa del Rey: Round of 16
Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images
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Spanish outlet Marca claims that a number of North American sides are among the clubs chasing Fernando Torres.

The Spanish striker has only scored more than 11 goals once since 2009-10, and is uncapped since 2014. But that doesn’t mean clubs from China to to the U.S. and the UAE to Japan aren’t interested in the 31-year-old.

[ JPW: Recapping the top stories from an intense Premier League weekend ]

The Marca report claims three MLS teams are interested and also name drops the New York Cosmos of the NASL, who’ve recently brought Venezuelan legend Juan Arango on board.

It’s hard to imagine anyone outside the MLS rich sides taking a risk on Torres. Maybe Montreal would look to reunite him with Didier Drogba, and Torres certainly has experience combining with New York City’s David Villa. As for the third… Orlando City? Chicago?

Your guess is as good as ours, though it could be moot if this is solely about money. China continues to spend well.

Difficult fixture run looms as Aston Villa aims for great escape

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - JANUARY 12:  Joleon Lescott of Aston Villa (3L) celebrates with team mates as he scores their first goal with a header during the Barclays Premier League match between Aston Villa and Crystal Palace at Villa Park on January 12, 2016 in Birmingham, England.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images
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Gabriel Agbonlahor is riding high, as the Premier League Player of the Week broke his duck this weekend and is thinking “great escape” for his Aston Villa side.

Villa has eight points in its last five matches, doubling its season total to 16. That’s still table bottom, but Remi Garde’s bunch would love to see their way out of the drop zone after a brutal start to the season under Tim Sherwood.

What would it take for Villa to pull that off, and avoid the first Premier League relegation in club history?

[ MORE: Premier League Team of the Week ]

Turns out, a lot.

There is no easy match in the next five, and Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal are all on the schedule after that.

Villa next five matches
Feb. 14 – vs. Liverpool
Feb. 27 – at Stoke City
March 1 – vs. Everton
March 5 – at Manchester City
March 12 – vs. Spurs

The Villans do have three relegation six-pointers left, and two of those are at Villa Park with Bournemouth and Newcastle United. Villa also heads to Swansea City.

But Villa has to make up 12 points on the Cherries, 11 on Swans and eight on the Magpies. And while they are within two goals difference of Newcastle, they have eight goals to make up on Bournemouth and 11 to make up on Swansea.

That doesn’t include Sunderland and Norwich, sides four and seven points ahead of the Villans (though both have tricky runs left as well).

If Garde’s club is to make its escape, it will be close to unbelievable. That it will close with a match against Arsenal makes it even trickier, but that would be just the final impressive note in what could only be considered a Garde-conducted masterpiece.

VIDEO: Recapping the top stories from an intense Week 25 in the Premier League

JPW at Stamford Bridge
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What a weekend. Let’s relive it.

Round 25 of the Premier League provided plenty more thrills, shocks and excitement as two unlikely title contenders — Leicester City and Tottenham Hotspur — are pushing ahead.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights

Our own Joe Prince-Wright recaps all the major headlines from what could turn out to be a pivotal weekend in the Premier League title race.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League news

Click play on the video below to join JPW as he battles the elements and checks in from outside Stamford Bridge in London following Chelsea’s 1-1 draw with Manchester United.

WATCH: USMNT’s Gonzalez nets first for Pachuca, earns exuberant “Gol” call

Marouane Fellaini, ,Omar Gonzalez
AP Photo/Themba Hadebe
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Come for the goal, stay for the “Gol” call.

Or should we say the “Gol. Goool-Goool-Goool-Goool-Goool-Goool-Goool-Goool-Goool-Goool-Gol” call.

[ MORE: Angry Louis van Gaal rips journalists for “inventing” stories ]

USMNT defender Omar Gonzalez has opened his account for Pachuca with this 88th minute header, and it’s worth it if just for the auditory performance.

Gonzalez also pulls out the high-capacity weapon celebration, though he’s apparently opted to do the version closer to the “Scarface” finale (Spoiler alert).