Real Madrid and France legend, Raymond Kopa dies at 85

Legendary France and Real Madrid attacking midfielder Raymond Kopa has died at the age of 85.

Kopa won three consecutive European Cups with Real between 1957 and 1959, as well as two Spanish league titles.

He was the first Frenchman to be awarded the Ballon d’Or, finishing ahead of Germany’s Helmut Rahn and compatriot Just Fontaine in 1958.

Capped by France 45 times, he scored 18 goals for his country and reached the 1958 World Cup semi-finals.

The president of the French Football Federation, Noel le Graet, said: “The passing of Raymond Kopa plunges the federation into immense sadness.

“It’s a terrible loss for French football. Raymond Kopa is among the legends.

“Everyone has and will keep in their memory his exploits which will remain unequalled. He was a player and a man of unique class. I send my most sincere condolences to his family and friends.”

Kopa joined Real in 1956, after losing to them with French side Reims in the European Cup final.

He returned to Reims in 1959 and stayed until his retirement in 1967.

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