Mario Alberto Kempes is an Argentine former footballstriker. His father, Mario, who was also a football player, inspired him to play from a young age. At the age of 7 years, he began playing with a junior team and at 14 he joined la cuarta de Talleres. He is most famous for playing for Valencia and being the focal point of Argentina's 1978 World Cup win.
Kempes was nicknamed El Matador (The Killer) from his time with Valencia, he won two consecutive Pichichis, scoring 24 and 28 goals in 1976-77 and 1977-78. His career started at a local club called Instituto Atletico Central Cordoba before quickly moving on to Rosario Central where he gained 85 goals in just 105 matches and established himself as a notorious goalscorer. Famous as a hard-working forward, he used to strike from outside the penalty area with his surging runs goalwards and was not the traditional center-forward operating solely inside the box. Many defenders found difficulties handling his attacking style.
Before the 1978 World Cup, Kempes was the only foreign based player on the list of coach Cesar Luis Menotti's national team in Argentina, he was at the time playing for Spanish giants Valencia while the other squad members all played in Argentina. The coach described him when announcing the squad he had selected for the 1978 tournament, "He's strong, he's got skill, he creates spaces and he shoots hard. He's a player who can make a difference, and he can play in a centre-forward position".
South American - Player of the Century
Observer Sport biography
Futbol Factory profile
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Mario Kempes