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.