Updated: September 22, 2017 11:00:32 am
Raymond Kopa, a former Real Madrid attacking midfielder who became the first French player to win the Ballon d’Or, has died. He was 85.
State secretary for sports Thierry Braillard confirmed the death Friday, calling Kopa “a legend of French football.”
A graceful player with a magnificent eye for passing, Kopa won the Ballon d’Or in 1958 when he played for Real Madrid. He won the European Cup three times with the Spanish club.
Kopa, the son of Polish immigrants, started with Angers before joining Reims, the club where he spent most of his career. He played 45 times for France, scoring 18 goals.
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