Real Madrid and France legend Kopa dies, aged 85
Real Madrid and France great Raymond Kopa has died at the age of 85.
Kopa became the first Frenchman to win the prestigious Ballon d'Or award in 1958, a year in which he was part of a Les Bleus side that finished third at the World Cup.
After starting his career with Angers, Kopa moved to Reims where he won four top-flight titles with the French club and finished runner-up in the 1956 European Cup, to Madrid.
The Spanish giants were suitably impressed, and Kopa went on to play alongside greats such as Alfredo Di Stefano and Ferenc Puskas.
Kopa won two league titles with Madrid, and also claimed the European Cup in each of three seasons at the club.
Le SCO, qui avait eu la chance de voir Raymond Kopa évoluer sous sa tunique, présente ses condoléances à sa famille et à ses proches... pic.twitter.com/uAi9W6YEHU
— Angers SCO (@AngersSCO) March 3, 2017
Madrid, Reims and Angers all posted tributes on their official Twitter accounts, while France Football Federation president Noel Le Graet said via a statement: "The death of Raymond Kopa plunges the Federation into immense sadness.
"His is a terrible loss for French football. He was a symbol and a front runner. His career with his clubs as well as with France was exceptional.
"Everyone will remember his exploits that will remain unmatched. He was a player and a man of class. I extend my deepest condolences to his family and loved ones."