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Ángel Nieto, Raymond Kopa and Jake Lamotta: 2017 dismissed three myths

Ángel Nieto, Raymond Kopa and Jake Lamotta: 2017 dismissed three myths

The year 2017 said goodbye with the death of three great sports figures, the Spanish motorcyclist Ángel Nieto, the French footballer Raymond Kopa and the boxer Jake Lamotta, a trio of myths who said goodbye forever to leave an irreplaceable void.

The most unexpected disappearance was that of Ángel Nieto. An accident in Ibiza while riding a quad ended the life of a motorcycle legend who was 13 times world champion (7 of 125 cubic centimeters and 6 of 50) between 1969 and 1984.

After 70 years the flame of Nieto went out, who for a week in the hospital had a fight for life that he could not overcome on August 3, when his death was certified due to massive brain edema.

Nieto’s legacy goes beyond his sports titles. The 12 + 1 times world champion, as he said by superstition, orphaned a legion of followers and, above all, inspired the following generations of riders who later gave a multitude of joys to Spanish motorcycling. For this reason, the tributes to his figure multiplied throughout the circuit.

So did Giacobbe “Jake” Lamotta, the American boxer of Italian descent who deserved a legendary performance by Robert De Niro in the film “Raging Bull” directed by Martin Scorsese.

That was the nickname by which he was known and with which he became world champion in the middleweight category after beating Frenchman Marcel Cerdan in 1949. Following that victory, Lamotta was recognized for his dignity in defeats. The most remembered, that of the “Massacre of St. Valentine”, as the fight against Sugar Ray Robinson, his great rival, was known, and which was one of the bloodiest in remembrance.

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Lamotta lost, but held out on his feet, as he promised before the fight in one of the most legendary matches in the history of the boxing. He will not only be remembered for his sporting legacy. He will also be remembered for his character. When you saw your movie, a descriptive scene ensued. He asked his ex-wife Vickie, “Was I really like that?” She replied, “You were even worse.” 37 years after that conversation, he would say goodbye at 95.

In the world of football, the most significant death was that of Raymond Kopa, a French football legend who came to play for Alfredo Di Stéfano’s Real Madrid, with whom he won the European Cups in 1957, 1958 and 1959. In addition, while He was a member of the white club, he won the 1958 Ballon d’Or.

France Football magazine named him the third best French player of the 20th century. He earned that honor thanks to his exquisite football, with superb dribbling and innate qualities with which he previously triumphed at the Stade de Reims and the French national team, whom he led to third place at the 1958 World Cup in Sweden. Football he mourned his loss on March 3, when he left at age 85.

In Spain, apart from the disappearance of Kopa, other names were also fired that should not be forgotten. Among them are those of Atlético de Madrid player Feliciano Rivilla and Manuel Sanchis, Real Madrid defender in the 60s and 70s.

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Both coincided in time and the first was a modern side who was ahead of his time and who won the 1964 Eurocup with the Spanish team. Rivilla was the side attacking Gento. At 81, on November 6, he said goodbye.

Sanchis, father of Manolo Sanchis, was part of Real Madrid “yé yé” that won the 1966 European Cup. He played for the white club between 1964 and 1971, a period in which he also won four leagues and a King’s Cup. A part of the history of Real Madrid disappeared on October 28 at the age of 79.

They also highlighted the death of Janusz Wojcik, the Polish coach who lost the final of the Barcelona 92 ​​Olympic Games against Spain; of Santiago “Isasi” Salazar, who was part of the “Magnificent” of Zaragoza; and Real Madrid players Yanko Daucik and Henning Jensen, Czech forward from the 1960s and the first Dane in history for the white club, respectively.

In the leaders’ chapter, Valencia mourned the death of Jaime Ortí, president of the entity between 2001 and 2004, the golden age of the club, in which he won two Leagues, a UEFA Cup and a European Super Cup.

At Barcelona, ​​Jaume Llauradó, former vice president of the club, and Agustí Montal, the president who signed Johan Cruyff in 1973, said goodbye, while at Real Madrid Luis Gómez Montejano died, reaching the top of the white entity between the April 26 and July 3, 2006.

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Cycling experienced the tragedy of Michele Scarponi, winner of the Giro d’Italia in 2011 and who died on April 22 at the age of 37 after being hit by a van while training to compete in the transalpine race.

Apart from the disappearance of Ángel Nieto, motorcycling also mourned that of American Nicky Hayden, who in May was hit by a car while training on a bicycle in the Italian town of Rimini. On May 22, due to the seriousness of his injuries, the 2006 Moto GP world champion passed away.

The Czech Jana Novotna marked the passage of disappearances in the world of tennis. At the age of 49, the Wimbledon champion died in 1998, a finalist in the same tournament in 1993 and 1997 and the Australian Open in 1991. Cancer ended her life after a long fight.

And in the world of Olympism, the disappearance of the legendary Turkish-Bulgarian weightlifter Naim Süleymanoglu, three times Olympic gold in weightlifting, was the most striking of all 2017. Nicknamed “the Pocket Hercules” for his small stature (1’47 meters high), managed to climb to the top of the podium in Seoul 1988, Barcelona 1992 and Atlanta 1996. A cirrhosis ended his life. EFE

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