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MARIO KEMPES


  "Kempes plays consistently for the team's attack and never let his teammates down.  He is the pride of Argentina." Cesar Menotti, Argentina's World Cup Winning coach

BORN:  July 15, 1954 
COUNTRY: Argentina
WORLD CUP APPEARNCES:  3 tournaments ('74, '78, '82)
CLUBS: Cordoba, Rosario Central, Valencia, River Plate, Hercules, Vienna, Austria Salzburg

INTRODUCTION:  Top scorer in 1978 with 6 goals.

CAREER INTERNATIONAL GOALS: 20 in 87 games

1974 World Cup - West Germany
Kempes was not even 20 but was already a first-team regular at the 1974 World Cup.  However, Argentina had a mediocre campaign and Kempes failed to score in any of the games he played.
1978 World Cup - Argentina
For the 1978 World Cup in Argentina, coach Menotti recalled Kempes as the only foreign-based player. After an injury to Luque, Menotti played Kempes in a new position, attacking from the deeper midfield area just behind the strikers.  He did not score in any of the first-round match.  But once the second round started, he scored twice in every matches apart from the goalless draw against Brazil. 
NATIONAL HERO
Kempes (10) set up Bertoni for the clinching goal in the 1978 World Cup final.  He scored two others.

Kempes had an inspired game against Netherlands in the final, scoring twice and setting up another goal in a 3-1 victory.  Apart from winning the top-scorer award and a World Cup medal, Kempes was named Player of the Tournament.
1982 World Cup - Spain
Kempes had a poor World Cup four year later, after being replaced by Maradona as the team's number one player.  But despite the addition of Maradona and Ramon Diaz, Argentina failed to impressand lost their crown.

HIS GOALS IN THE WORLD CUP - COMPLETE RECORD
1978
Quarter-final: 1st match v. Poland (2)
Quarter-final: 3rd match v. Peru (2)
Final v. Holland (2)
 


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