Di Stefano: Better than Pele and Maradona?

An eminent South American journalist has carried out a comparative evaluation of Pele and Maradona for FourFourTwo – but insists that Alfredo di Stefano was better than both. Enrique Macaya Marquez is one of the best-equipped men on the planet to judge the two against each other. Having covered every World Cup since 1958, he has also fronted Futbol de Primera – Argentina’s most-watched football show – for 20 years, while lecturing on football at the Universidad de Palermo in Buenos Aires. Asked by FourFourTwo to settle the eternal pub debate about Pele and Maradona, the don analysed both men and made his decision – but said that both cowered in the shadow of Di Stefano, the Buenos Aires-born “Blond Arrow” who became a legend at Real Madrid. “He dominated the game,” said Marquez. “He played all over the pitch, he had no zones, no position. He had a rare ability to make other footballers better.” Marquez rated Pele against Maradona over a number of criteria. He found the two legends impossible to separate for shooting, dribbling and “Wow factor”, acclaimed the Brazilian’s superior athleticism and heading ability but sided with the Argentinian for leadership and passing. To see who came out on top between the two most talked-about footballers in history, see the new issue of FourFourTwo, out now. FourFourTwo’s April issue, out now, is a South America special.

It features the 10 best new wonderkids from that continent, including exclusive interviews with Manchester United’s twins Fabio and Rafael da Silva plus Sao Paolo’s £100m-rated “new Kaka” Hernanes.

There are also interviews with Zico and Socrates; a look at the Boca Juniors academy responsible for Tevez, Burdisso, Gago, Banega et al; and the Lord of the Rings star so dedicated to Argentine outfit San Lorenzo that he bunked off a film set to see them play.