El Centrocampista

Top Ten Real Madrid Players of All Time

As Spain’s most successful side, Real Madrid have seen no shortage of great players in their 110 year history.

Over the next few pages Tom Creasey takes a look at who he thinks are the ten best footballers to don the famous white shirt of Los Merengues…

 

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10 – RAYMOND KOPA

EFE

France has produced some of the most talented midfielders to grace the beautiful game but before Zidane and Platini came Raymond Kopa.

Born in the northern French town of Nœux-les-Mines to Polish immigrants, Raymond Kopaszewski earned his keep as a teenager by pushing coal-laden wagons in a mine.

Spending just three seasons with Los Blancos, Kopa sneaks into this list on account of the sheer dominance he contributed to during his brief spell on the Iberian Peninsula.

Kopa was an integral part of the legendary Real Madrid side of the 1950’s playing alongside Di Stéfano, Rial, Gento and Puskás.

The pinnacle of his career, however, came at the 1958 World Cup when he was recognised as the star of the tournament despite the goalscoring exploits of his teammate Just Fontaine and the emergence of a 17 year-old Brazilian by the name of Pelé.

At just five feet six tall Kopa’s low centre of gravity gave him great balance and agility, allowing him to beat players with his famous dribbling skills.

The tricky playmaker won league titles in 1957 and 1958 and won the European Cup in each of his three years with the side, becoming the first Frenchman to do so in 1957 and he won the Ballon d’Or in 1958.

Kopa returned to Stade de Reims in 1959 where he lifted the French League for the third and fourth times in 1960 and 1962.

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