Mario Kempes
(Argentina)


     Mario Kempes compensated for failing to score in the 1974 World Cup by finishing top scorer with six goals in 1978, including two in the final against Holland when Argentina won. Kempes was born at Belville, Cordoba, on July 15th 1954 and, after rejection by Boca Juniors, began with Instituto Cordoba and then Rosario Central before making his international debut in 1973, against Bolivia.

     In 1976, the man with great balance, speed and a powerful shot was transferred to Valencia. In his first full season against tight Spanish defences, he was the league's top scorer with 24 goals, the highest total for ten years. His 28 the following year was the highest since Di Stefano's 31 in 1956/57. After a Spanish cup-winner's medal in 1979, Kempes figured in Valencia's penalty decider in the 1980 European Cup Winner's cup final win over Arsenal. In March 1981, a million-pound deal took him to River Plate.

     In his third World Cup in 1982 he again failed to score and, after being substituted against Brazil, his World Cup career ended after 18 matches, three behind the record. Later that year he was back at Valencia and continued to delight Spanish fans with his goals before finishing his career in Austria.


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