Mario Kempes

Mario Kempes
Mario Alberto Kempes
Personal information
Full name Mario Alberto Kempes Chiodi
Date of birth July 15, 1954 (1954-07-15) (age 57)
Place of birth Bell Ville, Argentina
Height 1.82 m (5 ft 11 12 in)
Playing position Striker
Youth career
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1970–1973 Instituto 13 (11)
1974–1976 Rosario Central 107 (85)
1977–1981 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 39 (7)
1995 Fernandez Vial 11 (5)
1996 Pelita Jaya
Total 537 (290)
National team
1973–1982 Argentina 43 (20)
Teams managed
1996 Pelita Jaya
1996 Lushnja
1997–1998 Mineros de Guayana
1999 The Strongest
2000 Blooming
2000–2001 Independiente Petrolero
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Mario Alberto Kempes Chiodi (born 15 July 1954 in Bell Ville, Córdoba) is a retired Argentine footballer. His father, Mario, also a footballer, inspired him to play from a young age. At the age of 7, he began playing with a junior team and at 14, he joined La Cuarta de Talleres. He is most notable for playing for Valencia and being the focal point of Argentina's 1978 World Cup win.


Club career

Kempes at Central

Kempes was nicknamed El toro and El Matador. During his first stint with Valencia, he won two consecutive Pichichis, scoring 24 and 28 goals in 1976–77 and 1977–78. His career started at local club Instituto before quickly moving on to Rosario Central, where he scored 85 goals in 105 matches and established himself as a notorious goalscorer, which prompted a move to Valencia, where he would go on to win the Copa del Rey, the European Cup Winners' Cup and the UEFA Super Cup. 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 César 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".

Kempes had been the top scorer in La Liga in each of the past two seasons and was determined to show on home soil that he could deliver against the best on the sport's greatest stage as well. However, in 1974, at the age of 20, he failed to get on the score-sheet in West Germany and after the first round group stage in 1978, his name was still missing among goal scorers in the tournament.

International career

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, including two in the final itself. He has also scored some very important goals for Argentina in his career.

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

Kempes made his full time coaching debut in Albania. His brief spell with Lushnja was groundbreaking, as he became the first foreign coach who signed a foreign player for the first time in Albanian soccer history. His career in Albania came to a quick end in 1997. 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 worked as assistant coach for Uruguayan manager Héctor Núñez in Valencia, and as a player-manager of Indonesian League champions Pelita Jaya. He announced his retirement from football management at the age of 41 in 1996.

Commentary career

He currently works as a football analyst and commentator in Spanish for ESPN Deportes (ESPN's Spanish version).

Career statistics

Club performance League Cup League Cup Continental Total
Season Club League Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Argentina League Cup League Cup South America Total
1973 Instituto Primera División 13 11
1974 Central Primera División 36 29
1975 49 35
1976 22 21
Spain League Copa del Rey Copa de la Liga Europe Total
1976–77 Valencia La Liga 34 24
1977–78 34 28
1978–79 30 12
1979–80 32 22
1980–81 12 9
Argentina League Cup League Cup South America Total
1981 River Plate Primera División 29 15
1982 0 0
Spain League Copa del Rey Copa de la Liga Europe Total
1982–83 Valencia La Liga 27 13
1983–84 15 8
1984–85 Hércules La Liga 17 1 2 0
1985–86 21 9 2 1
Austria League Austrian Cup League Cup Europe Total
1986–87 First Vienna Bundesliga 20 7
1987–88 Sankt Pölten First League 32 10
1988–89 Bundesliga 29 9
1989–90 35 15
1990–91 Kremser Bundesliga 21 5
1991–92 18 2
Chile League Copa Chile League Cup South America Total
1995 Fernández Vial Primera B 11 5
Indonesia League Piala Indonesia League Cup Asia Total
1995–96 Pelita Jaya Liga Indonesia
Total Argentina 149 111
Spain 222 126
Austria 155 48
Chile 11 5
Career total 537 290


Argentina national team
Year Apps Goals
1974 10 4
1975 5 3
1976 9 7
1977 0 0
1978 7 6
1979 0 0
1980 0 0
1981 3 0
1982 9 0


River Plate
1977, 1978
  • South American Player of the Century: Ranking Nº 23: 1
  • once d'or: 1978


"Research: Soccer Net USA". Archived from the original on 2006-11-16. Retrieved 2006-11-25. 

External links

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