Legends: Raymond Kopa


Raymond Kopa

Raymond Kopaszewski, world famous for Kopa, born in Noeux-Les-Mines, a smallmining town in northern France, on 13 October 1931. The young Frenchman, of Polish descent, early showed his passion for football.

Just behind the family home was the field of the village's team, which entered the age of ten. After completing his primary education goes to work in a mine where he also did his father. Abandoning coal pits after an accident in which lost the index finger of his left hand went to Angers, in which, under the guidance of coach Camille Cottin, Kopa is devoted fully. After two years in Angers walking the trails of the Second Division in 1951 signed for Stade de Reims for a lot of money at the time (1.8 million francs).

During the five years he was in French team, the fabulous French right midfielder rose to fame for his outstanding balance; in 158 games he scored 48 goals so he was elected the third best player in Europe, behind the legendary Matthews and Di Stefano.

His first contact with the white jersey of Real Madrid came to occasion of the farewell tribute to Luis Molowny. There began the particular affair between Real Madrid and French start. Curiously, his arrival in Madrid came just hours after the June 13, 1956, when the white set defeated Stade Reims at the final of the first edition of the European Cup. Attracted by the play of Kopa, Real Madrid signed him to the French.

Kopa had to adapt to a new position in the right hand, but the intelligence was one of his many qualities and had no problem putting on No. 7 on the shirt, to Alfredo di Stefano continued to be the conductor of Real Madrid . Fast player, skillful and a great specialist in the passes and assists. A player of great elegance and talent he knew when to stop the game, hiding the ball as a teacher and was able to unbalance at the right time. With Real Madrid, won two Spanish leagues (1957 and 1958) and three European Cups (1957,1958 and 1959).

After a brilliant pass by Madrid, Kopa returned to Stade de Reims in 1959 where he won two league titles and where he remained until his retirement at the edge of the 36 years in 1966 when his team won the French D2.

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