Mario Kempes

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Mario Kempes
Kempes with Valencia, c. 1982–84
Personal information
Full name Mario Alberto Kempes Chiodi
Date of birth (1954-07-15) 15 July 1954 (age 69)
Place of birth Bell Ville, Argentina
Height 1.84 m (6 ft 0 in)
Position(s) Striker, attacking midfielder
Youth career
1961–1968 Club Atlético y Biblioteca Bell
1968–1969 Talleres
1969–1970 Instituto
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1970–1973 Instituto 13 (11)
1973–1976 Rosario Central 107 (85)
1976–1981 Valencia 142 (95)
1981–1982 River Plate 29 (15)
1982–1984 Valencia 42 (21)
1984–1986 Hércules 38 (10)
1986–1987 First Vienna 20 (7)
1987–1990 St. Pölten 96 (34)
1990–1992 Kremser SC 39 (7)
1993–1994 Pelita Jaya 18 (12)
1995 Fernández Vial 11 (5)
1996 Lushnja[1]
Total 555 (302)
International career
1973–1982 Argentina 43 (20)
Managerial career
1995–1996 Pelita Jaya
1996 Lushnja (player-manager)[1]
1997–1998 Mineros de Guayana
1999 The Strongest
2000 Blooming
2000–2001 Independiente Petrolero
2001–2002 Casarano
2002 San Fernando[2]
Medal record
Men's football
Representing  Argentina
FIFA World Cup
Winner 1978 Argentina
*Club domestic league appearances and goals

Mario Alberto Kempes Chiodi (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈmaɾjo alˈβeɾto ˈkempes ˈtʃjoði], Italian: [ˈkjɔːdi]; born 15 July 1954) is an Argentine former professional footballer who played as a striker or attacking midfielder. A prolific goalscorer, he finished as La Liga's top goalscorer twice with Valencia where he amassed 116 goals in 184 league games.

At international level, Kempes was the focal point of Argentina's 1978 World Cup win where he scored twice in the final and received the Golden Boot as top goalscorer. He also won the Golden Ball for the player of the tournament, making him one of only three players to have won all three awards at a single World Cup, along with Garrincha in 1962 and Paolo Rossi in 1982.

Kempes won South American Footballer of the Year, Onze d'Or European footballer of the Year and World Cup Golden Ball in 1978. In 2004, he was named as one of the Top 125 greatest living footballers as part of FIFA's 100th anniversary celebration.[3] Kempes was nicknamed El Toro and El Matador.

Club career[edit]

Mario Kempes during his period in River Plate, 1981

Kempes was born in Bell Ville, Córdoba. His father, Mario Quemp, was of German heritage. His mother, Teresa Chiodi, was Italian. At the age of seven he began playing with a junior team and at fourteen he joined the Talleres reserves.

Kempes' career started at local club Instituto, where he played alongside Osvaldo Ardiles before quickly moving on to Rosario Central, where he established himself as a remarkable goalscorer, scoring 85 goals in 105 matches, prompting Valencia to sign him. At Mestalla he would go on to win the Copa del Rey, the European Cup Winners' Cup and the UEFA Super Cup as well as two consecutive Pichichis, scoring 24 and 28 goals in the 1976–77 and 1977–78 seasons. Famous as a hard-working forward, he used to strike from outside the penalty area with his surging runs towards goal and was not the traditional center-forward operating solely inside the box. Many defenders found difficulty handling his attacking style.

Before the 1978 World Cup, Kempes was the only foreign-based player on the list of coach César Luis Menotti's Argentina national team. when announcing the squad he had selected for the 1978 tournament, Menotti described him with these words: "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."

Kempes had been the top scorer in La Liga the previous two seasons and was determined to show on home soil that he could deliver against the best on the sport's greatest stage. However, he had failed to get on the score-sheet in West Germany in 1974, at the age of 19, and after the first round group stage in 1978, his name was still missing among goal scorers in the tournament.

After leaving Valencia in 1984, Kempes spent two years at Hércules in nearby Alicante before spending six years at various Austrian clubs. His play declined in his 30s and he did not compete for top scorer honours in the Austrian top flight. He rounded off his career with stints at more obscure clubs in Indonesia, Chile and Albania during the 1990s.

International career[edit]

Kempes celebrating one of his 2 goals at the 1978 FIFA World Cup final match v. Netherlands in Buenos Aires

During his club career he won 43 caps for Argentina and scored 20 times. He represented his country in three World Cups in 1974, 1978 and 1982, winning the competition in 1978. He was the leading goalscorer in the 1978 tournament, scoring six goals in three braces: the first two in Argentina's first semi-final group stage match against Poland, another two against Peru, and the last two in the final against the Netherlands, which Argentina won 3–1. His second goal, in the 105th minute, was the game winner in extra time. However, in the same tournament, he notoriously stopped a goal with his hand in a second-round match against Poland.[4] This resulted in a penalty kick that was promptly saved by Ubaldo Fillol.[5] His goals in the 1978 World Cup Final were his last for Argentina at the age of just 23.

In 1978, he was named South American Football Player of the Year ("El Mundo," Caracas, Venezuela). He was named by Pelé as one of the top 125 greatest living footballers in March 2004.

Managerial career[edit]

Kempes made his full-time managing debut in Albania. His brief spell with Lushnja was groundbreaking, as he became the first foreign manager who signed a foreign player in Albanian football history. His career in Albania came to a quick end in 1997.[1] The following year, he landed a job with Venezuelan side Mineros de Guayana. In 1999, Kempes moved to Bolivia and managed The Strongest, before taking charge of Blooming in 2000. Previously, he had worked as assistant coach for Uruguayan manager Héctor Núñez in Valencia and as a player-manager of Indonesian League champions Pelita Jaya.

Commentary career[edit]

He currently works as a football analyst and commentator in Spanish for ESPN Deportes (ESPN's Spanish-language version). With Fernando Palomo and Ciro Procuna, he provides the commentary in the Latin American version of the FIFA franchise video games starting from FIFA 13 up until FIFA 23. He also serves as a commentator on the EA Sports FC series, beginning with EA Sports FC 24.

Career statistics[edit]

Club[edit]

Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
Club Season League Cup Continental Other Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Instituto 1973 Primera División 13 11 13 11
Central 1974 Primera División 36 29 36 29
1975 Primera División 49 35 49 35
1976 Primera División 22 21 22 21
Total 107 85 107 85
Valencia 1976–77 La Liga 34 24 0 0 34 24
1977–78 La Liga 34 28 12 11 46 39
1978–79 La Liga 30 15 10 3 6 3 46 21
1979–80 La Liga 32 22 2 2 9 9 43 33
1980–81 La Liga 12 9 1 0 5 2 18 11
Total 142 95 25 16 20 14 187 125
River Plate 1981 Primera División 29 15 29 15
1982 Primera División 0 0 0 0
Total 29 15 29 15
Valencia 1982–83 La Liga 27 13 1 0 8 0 2 0 38 13
1983–84 La Liga 15 8 4 3 0 0 2 0 21 11
Total 42 21 5 3 8 0 4 0 59 24
Hércules 1984–85 La Liga 17 1 2 0 19 1
1985–86 La Liga 21 9 2 1 23 10
Total 38 10 4 1 42 11
First Vienna 1986–87 Austrian Bundesliga 20 7 20 7
Sankt Pölten 1987–88 Austrian First League 32 10 32 10
1988–89 Austrian Bundesliga 29 9 29 9
1989–90 Austrian Bundesliga 35 15 35 15
Total 96 34 96 34
Kremser SC 1990–91 Austrian Bundesliga 21 5 21 5
1991–92 Austrian Bundesliga 18 2 18 2
Total 39 7 39 7
Fernández Vial 1995 Primera B 11 5 11 5
Pelita Jaya 1996 Liga Indonesia 15 10 15 10
Career total 552 300 34 20 28 14 618 334

International[edit]

Appearances and goals by national team and year[6]
National team Year Apps Goals
Argentina 1973 1 0
1974 10 4
1975 4 3
1976 9 7
1977 0 0
1978 7 6
1979 0 0
1980 0 0
1981 3 0
1982 9 0
Total 43 20
Scores and results list Argentina's goal tally first, score column indicates score after each Kempes goal.
List of international goals scored by Mario Kempes
No. Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1 22 April 1974 José Amalfitani Stadium, Buenos Aires, Argentina  Romania 2–1 2–1 Friendly
2 18 May 1974 Parc des Princes, Paris, France  France 1–0 1–0 Friendly
3 22 May 1974 Wembley Stadium, London, England  England 1–2 2–2 Friendly
4 2–2
5 3 August 1975 Estadio Olímpico, Caracas, Venezuela  Venezuela 2–1 5–1 1975 Copa América
6 10 August 1975 Estadio Gigante de Arroyito, Rosario, Argentina  Venezuela 5–0 11–0 1975 Copa América
7 10–0
8 27 February 1976 Estadio Monumental Antonio Vespucio Liberti, Buenos Aires, Argentina  Brazil 2–1 2–1 Roca Cup 1976
9 20 March 1976 Central Stadium, Kyiv, Ukraine  Soviet Union 1–0 1–0 Friendly
10 14 June 1978 Estadio Gigante de Arroyito, Rosario, Argentina  Poland 1–0 2–0 1978 FIFA World Cup
11 2–0
12 21 June 1978 Estadio Gigante de Arroyito, Rosario, Argentina  Peru 1–0 6–0 1978 FIFA World Cup
13 3–0
14 25 June 1978 Estadio Monumental Antonio Vespucio Liberti, Buenos Aires, Argentina  Netherlands 1–0 3–1 1978 FIFA World Cup
15 2–1

Honours[edit]

Rosario Central

Valencia

River Plate

Pelita Jaya

Argentina

Individual

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "One's Kompany: just where have all the player-managers gone?". FourFourTwo. 22 May 2019. Retrieved 1 November 2023. Mario Kempes - Pelita Jaya and KS Lushnja (1996) | In his early forties, Kempes chanced his arm as player-manager of Albanian side KS Lushnja. His time in the Balkans was short-lived before he endured a similar fate in Indonesia with Pelita Jaya
  2. ^ "Kempes manager profile". BDFutbol.
  3. ^ "Pele's list of the greatest". BBC Sport. 4 March 2004. Retrieved 15 June 2013.
  4. ^ Argentina vs Poland – World Cup 1978 – full match – part 4/8 @YouTube
  5. ^ FIFA.com 1978 World Cup Match Report – Argentina – Poland
  6. ^ Mario Kempes at National-Football-Teams.com
  7. ^ "Indonesia – List of (Semi-)Professional Champions". Retrieved 18 October 2014.
  8. ^ "FIFA World Cup Golden Ball Awards". RSSSF. Archived from the original on 12 January 2016. Retrieved 9 February 2015.
  9. ^ Crépin, Timothé (2 December 2015). "Pelé devait être le recordman" (in French). France Football.
  10. ^ South American – Player of the Century Retrieved on 3 January 2009
  11. ^ "Golden Foot Award". Goldenfoot.com. Archived from the original on 10 February 2015. Retrieved 9 February 2015.
  12. ^ "La Selección de Todos los Tiempos" [The Team of All Time] (in Spanish). Argentine Football Association. 4 January 2016. Archived from the original on 14 August 2018. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
  13. ^ "IFFHS ALL TIME ARGENTINA MEN'S DREAM TEAM". 26 August 2021.

"Research: Soccer Net USA". Soccer Net USA. Archived from the original on 16 November 2006. Retrieved 25 November 2006.

External links[edit]