Raymond Kopa (French pronunciation: [ʁɛmɔ̃ kɔpa]; birth name Raymond Kopaszewski; 13 October 1931 – 3 March 2017) was a French footballer, integral to the French national team of the 1950s. At club level he was part of the legendary Real Madrid team of the 1950s, winning three European Cups.
Raymond Kopa in 1963
|Full name||Raymond Kopaszewski|
|Date of birth||13 October 1931|
|Place of birth||Nœux-les-Mines, France|
|Date of death||3 March 2017(aged 85)|
|Place of death||Angers, France|
|Height||1.68 m (5 ft 6 in)|
|Playing position||Attacking midfielder|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
Often considered one of the leading players of his generation, Kopa was a free-role advanced playmaker who was quick, agile and known for his love of dribbling. He was also a renowned playmaker, as well as a prolific scorer. In 1958, Kopa was awarded the Ballon d'Or. In 1970, he became the first football player to receive the Légion d'honneur, and in 2004, Pelé named him one of the 125 Greatest Living Footballers at a FIFA Awards Ceremony.
Early and personal lifeEdit
Kopa was born to a family of Polish immigrants. His grandparents were originally from Kraków and migrated to Germany, where his parents were born. They then migrated to France after the First World War. His surname was shortened to Kopa whilst he was at school. At the age of 14 he followed in the footsteps of his grandfather, father and brother by working in the coal mines of Nœux-les-Mines. During this time Kopa lost a finger in a mining accident.
Kopa married Christiane, the sister of a team-mate of his at Angers. After retiring from the game he launched his own sportswear brand, eventually settling in Corsica. Kopa died in Angers on 3 March 2017, aged 85.
After finishing second in the French national youth football trials in 1949, Kopa began his professional career at age 17 with Angers in Ligue 2 and was transferred two years later to Reims, with whom he won French championships in 1953 and 1955. He won the 1953 Latin Cup with Reims, where they defeated Milan 3–0 in the final, and helped them reach the 1956 European Cup Final, which the team lost to Alfredo Di Stéfano's Real Madrid, 4–3.
Kopa had first attracted attention in Spain when he played for France against Spain in a match in Madrid in March 1955, which led to the Spanish sports newspaper Marca nicknaming him "Little Napoleon". Kopa was transferred to Real Madrid for the 1956–57 season, where he was soon joined by Ferenc Puskás. Despite playing as an inside right (Playing as the no. 10 is his usual position), Kopa's time at Real Madrid was extremely successful as he helped the club to three successive European cup victories, being incredibly influential in the Spanish capital. Playing with the Spanish giants, Kopa won the Spanish league in 1957 and 1958. Kopa was also the first French player to win the European Cup when Madrid defeated Fiorentina 2–0 in the 1957 final. He would go on to be European champion again in 1958 and 1959, the last against former side Reims, where Just Fontaine played. In the 1959–60 season, Kopa returned to France to finish his career with Reims, where he won further Championnats in 1960 and 1962. In total, he scored 75 goals in 346 matches in France's top flight, and was awarded the Ballon d'or by France Football in 1958.
With the France national team, Kopa scored 18 goals in 45 matches between 1952 and 1962. He played in the 1958 FIFA World Cup in Sweden, where he performed outstandingly and was one of the players of the tournament, scoring three goals as he led France to the semi-finals, where they succumbed to a strong Brazil team. The French team finished third in the tournament.
In March 2004, Kopa was named by Pelé as one of the top 125 greatest living footballers. In 2018, France Football's Kopa Trophy, awarded to the best young football player in the calendar year was named in Raymond's honor. The first recipient was fellow Frenchman Kylian Mbappé.
|Club performance||League||Cup||League Cup||Continental||Total|
|France||League||Coupe de France||Coupe de la Ligue||Europe||Total|
|Spain||League||Copa del Rey||Supercopa de España||Europe||Total|
|1956–57||Real Madrid||La Liga||22||6||0||0||-||-||8||2||30||8|
|France||League||Coupe de France||Coupe de la Ligue||Europe||Total|
|France national team|
|1.||11 November 1952||Stade Olympique Yves-du-Manoir, Paris, France||Northern Ireland||3–1||Win||Friendly|
|2.||11 November 1952||Stade Olympique Yves-du-Manoir, Paris, France||Northern Ireland||3–1||Win||Friendly|
|3.||14 May 1953||Stade Olympique Yves-du-Manoir, Paris, France||Wales||6–1||Win||Friendly|
|4.||14 May 1953||Stade Olympique Yves-du-Manoir, Paris, France||Wales||6–1||Win||Friendly|
|5.||20 September 1953||Stade Josy Barthel, Luxembourg, Luxembourg||Luxembourg||1–6||Win||1954 FIFA World Cup Q.|
|6.||30 May 1954||Stade Heysel, Brussels, Belgium||Belgium||3–3||Draw||Friendly|
|7.||19 June 1954||Charmilles Stadium, Geneva, Switzerland||Mexico||3–2||Win||1954 FIFA World Cup|
|8.||11 November 1954||Stade Olympique Yves-du-Manoir, Paris, France||Belgium||2–2||Draw||Friendly|
|9.||11 November 1954||Stade Olympique Yves-du-Manoir, Paris, France||Belgium||2–2||Draw||Friendly|
|10.||17 March 1955||Estadio Chamartín, Madrid, Spain||Spain||1–2||Win||Friendly|
|11.||15 May 1955||Stade Olympique Yves-du-Manoir, Paris, France||England||1–0||Win||Friendly|
|12.||9 October 1955||St. Jakob Stadium, Basel, Switzerland||Switzerland||1–2||Win||Friendly|
|13.||23 October 1955||Dinamo Stadium, Moscow, Soviet Union||Soviet Union||2–2||Draw||Friendly|
|14.||8 June 1958||Idrottsparken, Norrköping, Sweden||Paraguay||7–3||Win||1958 FIFA World Cup|
|15.||15 June 1958||Eyravallen, Örebro, Sweden||Scotland||2–1||Win||1958 FIFA World Cup|
|16.||26 June 1958||Ullevi, Gothenburg, Sweden||West Germany||3–6||Win||1958 FIFA World Cup|
|17.||1 October 1958||Parc des Princes, Paris, France||Greece||7–1||Win||UEFA EURO 1960|
|18.||27 March 1960||Praterstadion, Vienna, Austria||Austria||2–4||Win||UEFA EURO 1960|
|Correct as of 13 January 2013|
- Ballon d'or: 1958; runner-up: 1959; Third place: 1956 and 1957
- FIFA World Cup All-Star Team: 1958
- Etoile d'Or: 1960
- French Player of the Year: 1961
- FIFA XI: 1963
- World Soccer World XI: 1963
- World Soccer: The 100 Greatest Footballers of All Time
- Golden Foot: 2006, as a football legend
- UEFA President's Award: 2010
- FIFA 100
- 3rd French Player of the Century
- "Raymond Kopa". L'Équipe (in French). Paris. Retrieved 5 June 2019.
- Gaillard, William (4 February 2011). "Goals, not coal, for Kopa". uefa.com. Retrieved 28 October 2015.
- The Greatest Offensive Midfielders of All-Time. xtratime.org
- Braun, Didier. "L'Équipe de France de football, c'est l'histoire en raccourci d'un siècle d'immigration" (PDF). L'Équipe. Archived from the original (PDF) on 13 January 2012. Retrieved 15 August 2009.
- Bouchez, Yann (3 March 2017). "Raymond Kopa, figure du football français, est mort". Le Monde (in French). Retrieved 3 March 2017.
- Philippe Rey-Gorez and Alexandre Audabram (2 April 2018). "Paul Sinibaldi, ancienne star du Stade de Reims, est mort" (in French). France Bleu. Retrieved 3 April 2018.
- Hanot, Gabriel. "Palmarès Ballon d'Or – 1958 – Raymond Kopa". www.francefootball.fr. Retrieved 20 February 2017.
- France vs. West Germany, 1958 FIFA World Cup
- "Pele's list of the greatest". BBC Sport. 4 March 2004. Retrieved 18 November 2013.
- "Raymond Kopa". National Football Teams. Benjamin Strack-Zimmerman.
- "Raymond Kopa – national football team player".
- "France – Footballer of the Year".
- "Matches of FIFA XI".
- "ERIC BATTY’S WORLD XI – THE SIXTIES" Retrieved on 26 November 2015
- World Soccer: The 100 Greatest Footballers of All Time Retrieved on 28 November 2015
- "Legends". Golden Foot. Archived from the original on 25 September 2015. Retrieved 23 September 2015.
- "UEFA President's Award". UEFA.com. 2 January 2014. Retrieved 1 June 2017.
- "Décret du 6 avril 2007 portant promotion et nomination" [Decree of 6 April 2007 on promotion and appointment]. Journal Officiel de la République Française (in French). 2007 (84): 6583. 8 April 2007. PREX0710142D. Retrieved 5 June 2019.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Raymond Kopa.|
- Raymond Kopa at the French Football Federation (in French)
- Raymond Kopa at National-Football-Teams.com
- Raymond Kopa at L'Équipe Football (in French)
- FootballDatabase profile and stats[dead link]
- European Champions Cup/UEFA Champions League Winning Squads
- Interview on uefa.com
Alfredo di Stéfano
| European Footballer of the Year
Alfredo di Stéfano