Raymond Kopa

Best French Footballers

It’s been a bad week for losing football legends. Earlier this week it was Tommy Gemmell and today it is Raymond Kopa. A great of French football. Here’s where he is in the all time list.

  1. Zinedine Zidane – such a classy, skillful player. Two goals in the 1998 World Cup Final and a player of the tournament performance in 2006. Shame about the final. And the best goal in a European Cup Final.
  2. Michel Platini – before he became a murky football politician, Platini was sensational in the 2004 Euros, winning it virtually on his own.
  3. Raymond Kopa – ahead of Garrincha and Pele as player of the tournament in the 1958 World Cup. The first French player to win the Ballon D’Or.
  4. Just Fontaine – he scored 13 goals in the 1958 World Cup. 13!
  5. Thierry Henry – France’s leading goalscorer. Shame about his infamous handball against Ireland.
  6. Jean-Pierre Papin – perhaps a better club player than an international one but a lethal striker at his peak.
  7. Lilian Thuram – the most capped player for France. A key member of the golden generation which won the World Cup and Euros. If you only score two international goals, why not save them for a World Cup semi?
  8. Eric Cantona – an outstanding player for Manchester United, less so for France where his unstable character caused off field problems. Still he had the ability to turn a game with a moment of class.
  9. Patrick Viera – another member of the golden team. He was particularly effective in the 2000 Euros.
  10. Marcel Desailly – over 100 caps. A class defender better than Blanc.