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French and Real Madrid legend Raymond Kopa passes away

French and Real Madrid legend Raymond Kopa has passed away.

He was 85.

Kopa was a pioneer of the game and the third winner of the Ballon d'Or award, when he was honoured in 1958.

He became a professional footballer against all the odds, having endured a difficult upbringing.

His grand-parents emigrated from Poland to Germany, before his parents moved on to France after the First World War.

Kopa worked on the coal mines and, at the age of 14, lost a finger.

In January, he was well enough to attend the presentation of Cristiano Ronaldo's fourth Ballon d'Or award.

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Paul Vegas

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