Raymond Kopa

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Raymond Kopa
Raymond Kopa 1963b.jpg
Raymond Kopa in 1963
Personal information
Date of birth (1931-10-13) 13 October 1931 (age 84)
Place of birth Nœux-les-Mines, France
Height 1.69 m (5 ft 6 12 in)
Playing position Attacking midfielder
Youth career
1941–1949 US Nœux-les-Mines
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1949–1951 Angers 60 (15)
1951–1956 Reims 158 (48)
1956–1959 Real Madrid 79 (24)
1959–1967 Reims 244 (36)
Total 541 (123)
National team
1952–1962 France 45 (18)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

† Appearances (goals)

Raymond Kopa (French pronunciation: ​[rɛmɔ̃ kɔˈpa]; born 13 October 1931) is a former 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.

Often considered one of leading players of his generation, Kopa was a free-role playmaker who was quick, agile and known for his love of dribbling. He was also a renowned playmaker, as well as a prolific scorer.[1] In 1958, Kopa was named 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.[2]

Early and personal life[edit]

Kopa was born Raymond Kopaszewski[3] to a family of Polish immigrants.[4] His grandparents were originally from Krakow 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.[3]

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.[3]

Football career[edit]

After finishing second in the French national youth football trials in 1949,[3] Kopa began his professional career at the age of 17 with SCO Angers in Ligue 2 and was transferred two years later to Stade de Reims, with whom he won French championships in 1953 and 1955. He won the 1953 Latin Cup with Reims, where they defeated AC Milan 3-0 in the final, and helped them reach the first European Cup final in 1956, 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".[3] 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 Stade de 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 given the Ballon d'or by France Football in 1958.[citation needed]

With the France national football team, Kopa scored 18 goals in 45 games between 1952 and 1962. He played in the 1958 FIFA World Cup in Sweden, where Kopa performed outstandingly and was one of the players of the tournament, scoring 3 goals along the way as he led France to the Semi-Finals where the national team succumbed to an extremely strong Brazil team. The French team finished third in the tournament.

Kopa was named by Pelé as one of the top 125 greatest living footballers in March 2004.

Achievements[edit]

Club[edit]

Stade Reims
Real Madrid

National[edit]

France

Individual[edit]

Career statistics[edit]

International goals[edit]

# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
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[10]

National team statistics[edit]

[11]

Club performance League Cup League Cup Continental Total
Season Club League Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
France League Coupe de France Coupe de la Ligue Europe Total
1949–50 Angers Second Division
1950–51
1951–52 Stade Reims French League 33 8
1952–53 33 13
1953–54 31 11
1954–55 31 11
1955–56 30 5
Spain League Copa del Rey Supercopa de España Europe Total
1956–57 Real Madrid Spanish League 22 6 0 0 - - 8 2 30 8
1957–58 27 8 0 0 - - 7 3 34 11
1958–59 30 10 0 0 - - 7 1 37 11
France League Coupe de France Coupe de la Ligue Europe Total
1959–60 Stade Reims French League 36 14
1960–61 30 5
1961–62 30 2
1962–63 34 1
1963–64 25 5
1964–65 Division 2 29 3
1965–66 27 3
1966–67 French League 33 3
Total France 462 99
Spain 79 24 0 0 - - 22 6 101 30
Career total 541 123
Raymond Kopa in 2005
France national team
Year Apps Goals
1952 5 2
1953 6 3
1954 6 4
1955 6 4
1956 1 0
1957 0 0
1958 7 4
1959 4 0
1960 3 1
1961 3 0
1962 4 0
Total 45 18

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Greatest Offensive Midfielders of All-Time. xtratime.org
  2. ^ "Pele's list of the greatest". BBC Sport. 4 March 2004. Retrieved 18 November 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f Gaillard, William (4 February 2011). "Goals, not coal, for Kopa". uefa.com. Retrieved 28 October 2015. 
  4. ^ Braun, Didier. "L’Équipe de France de football, c'est l'histoire en raccourci d'un siècle d'immigration" (PDF). L'Équipe. Retrieved 15 August 2009. 
  5. ^ http://www.rsssf.com/miscellaneous/franpoy.html
  6. ^ FIFA XI´s Matches - Full Info
  7. ^ "ERIC BATTY’S WORLD XI – THE SIXTIES" Retrieved on 26 November 2015
  8. ^ World Soccer: The 100 Greatest Footballers of All Time Retrieved on 28 November 2015
  9. ^ "Legends". Golden Foot. Retrieved 23 September 2015. 
  10. ^ Football PLAYER: Raymond Kopa
  11. ^ Raymond Kopa at National-Football-Teams.com

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Alfredo di Stéfano
European Footballer of the Year
1958
Succeeded by
Alfredo di Stéfano