The children of Real Madrid soccer legend Alfredo di Stéfano have won legal custody over their father and his assets, months after finding out he was planning to marry his secretary, who is 50 years younger than him, sources close to EL PAÍS said Tuesday.
The securing of custody is a precautionary measure as the children’s suit to have their father declared incapacitated goes through the courts. The 86-year-old, wheelchair-bound Di Stéfano’s health has deteriorated over the past few months and he has suffered increasing memory problems.
In his last comments to the media in the middle of July, Di Stéfano said: “My children are taking very good care of me. If they don’t look after me, who else is going to?”
His children filed a suit with a Madrid court on April 26 to have their father declared incapacitated shortly after finding out that he was preparing to marry the 36-year-old Costa Rican Gina González, his secretary, representative and companion for the past few years. Eight days after the judge had admitted the children’s suit, the couple announced they were getting married.
My children are taking very good care of me. If they don’t, who else is going to?”
Di Stéfano, who is the honorary chairman of Real Madrid, has known González for some time and it was common to see them together at the club’s Bernabéu stadium. However, few people in Di Stefano’s circle thought their relationship would end up in marriage.
González came to Madrid from Costa Rica 10 years ago. She has declared herself at times to be a journalist and a lawyer. At one point during an interview with sports daily AS, she said. “I want to manage Real Madrid.” She also made moves to become a players’ representative. She knew a number of the club’s directors and was eventually given a grant by the Real Madrid Foundation.
After finding out about the plans to have Di Stéfano declared incapacitated, González said the Real Madrid legend had lost “his freedom.”
González traveled to Costa Rica before the summer and has subsequently returned to Madrid where she has tried unsuccessfully to re-establish contact with Di Stéfano.
Di Stefano, nicknamed “La saeta rubia” (the blond arrow), is Real Madrid’s second highest ever goal scorer, with 216 goals in 282 appearances for the team between 1953 and 1965. The club won a record five European Cup medals in successive years and eight Spanish league medals during that time.