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Cristiano Ronaldo or Di Stéfano? Real Madrid fans' verdict

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Cristiano Ronaldo or Di Stéfano? Real Madrid fans' verdict
Emilio Sansolini

Cristiano Ronaldo's fifth Ballon d'Or, which has seen the Real Madrid striker equal Lionel Messi's record haul of award wins, has opened up a debate among football fans and pundits alike over the identity of Los Blancos' greatest ever player: is it the Portugal captain, or Alfredo Di Stéfano?

Di Stéfano and Cristiano: goals and trophies galore at Real Madrid

What is certain is that both boast enviable trophy collections and scoring records. Di Stéfano played 396 competitive games for Real, netting 307 goals and winning five European Cups, eight LaLiga titles, one Copa del Rey (at the time called the Copa del Generalísimo), one Intercontinental Cup and two Latin Cups. On top of that, he wowed the football world with a style of play that saw him dubbed a 'todocampista' ('wholefielder'), for the way in which he would win balls in defence, help build the play in midfield and display the kind of killer instinct in front of goal that led him to finish five separate seasons as the Spanish league's top scorer.

Cristiano, meanwhile, has made 412 Real appearances and scored 418 times (more than a goal a game; an average that has allowed him to bag three Pichichi trophies), and has won three Champions Leagues, two LaLigas, two Copas del Rey, two Spanish Super Cups, three Uefa Super Cups and two Fifa Club World Cups.

AS poll: Di Stéfano wins nearly two-thirds of the votes

All of the above should make choosing between the two a tough decision, particularly given that it is always difficult to compare players from footballing eras that are so far apart. However, the participants in an AS poll asking the question "Who is the best player in the history of Real Madrid?" appear to have been in little doubt, with Friday's survey seeing Madridistas plump overwhelmingly for Di Stéfano: the 'Blond Arrow' claimed 61.62% of the votes cast by a total of 20,494 readers, while just 38.38% went for Cristiano.

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