Alfredo Di Stefano to marry a 36-year-old

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, right, 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 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 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.

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“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 the world’s leading side. 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.

• AC Milan manager Massimiliano Allegri yesterday denied reports he will join Serie A rivals AS Roma next season. “These are purely allegations and very disappointing,” Allegri told a news conference before Milan’s home match against Torino today.

“It upsets me to read that I’ve signed for Roma. I believe myself to be an honest person and respectful towards my place of work. If anything was to happen the first person to know about it would be the president [Silvio Berlusconi] and CEO [Adriano] Galliani.

“I think this discussion is closed, and thankfully it was closed by the clubs before I had to speak.”

Milan earlier denied the report in Corriere della Serra that Allegri had agreed a contract with Roma after refusing a deal to join Inter Milan.