Icon of world and French football Raymond Kopa dies aged 85

A legend of football, the great French attacking midfielder Raymond Kopa, has died aged 85.

He won three European Cups on the trot with the great Real Madrid of di Stefano, Puskas and Gento, and took France to third place in the 1958 World Cup earning himself the player of the tournament award for his inventive leadership. He dribbled his way through, and Just Fontaine scored. Thirteen times, still a record.

The son of Polish immigrants also won the Ballon d’Or, the first of only four French players win football’s top individual prize.

Real Madrid’s current team observed a minute’s silence during training on hearing the news.

The pit boy from the mines in northern France, minus a finger lost in a pit accident, started playing professionally aged 17. He scored 18 international goals winning 45 caps between 1952-62. He played nearly 550 games in an 18-year career.