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Kempes soccer player

Mario Kempes is a legendary Argentine footballer. He will mainly be remembered for his pivotal role in Argentina’s triumph in the 1978 FIFA World Cup. Kempes’ influence on the beautiful play of the Argentine national team also extends beyond this historic tournament.

Kempes possessed a blend of skill, keen football intelligence and an unerring eye for goal. His performances at the 1978 World Cup were spectacular and earned him the Golden Ball as top scorer and best player of the tournament respectively.


Kempes began his career at Instituto Atlético Central Córdoba, where he played until 1973, before moving on to the higher-ranked Rosario Central. His nickname, Matador, comes from his time playing for Spanish club Valencia CF (to which he moved in 1977). With Valencia, he twice won the Pichichi title for the Primera División’s top scorer, scoring 24 and 28 goals between 1976-1977 and 1977-1978 respectively. He played for Valencia until 1981 (winning the PEZP and European Super Cup with the team in 1980), when he returned to Argentina for half a season with Club Atlético River Plate. In 1982, he was again in the Valencia team, with whom he did not win any trophies this time. The years 1984-1986 saw him play for lower-ranked Hércules Alicante. In 1986, he moved to Austria to First Vienna FC.

In the following years he played for the teams: VSE Sankt Pölten (1987-1990) and Kremser SC (1990-1992). In 1995, he played for the Chilean club CD Fernández Vial. He officially ended his career in 1996 and was voted South America’s Best Footballer in 1978. Kempes was recognised as one of FIFA’s 100 best living footballers.

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