"Mario is a phenomenon both as a person and a player. We
are all indebted to him for what he did in 78 and that's great.
But we've been very ungrateful to him as well. He was the
goalscorer and the soul of that side after all, and he deserves
some kind of tribute from Argentina. I love him."
"We were heavily criticised for not taking Maradona to the
World Cup, but we thought he was too young and we had Kempes. Our
selection policy was conditioned by the fact that we had a very
clear idea of what we were looking for. If you don't know what
you're looking for, then you'll never find anything. Things
didn't work out too badly either."
Cesar Menotti, Kempes' coach atArgentina1978
"It goes without saying that Mario was absolutely essential
to us winning the World Cup. We had a great, close-knit side, but
he made all the difference in the last few metres. He just got
better as the tournament went on, and although he didn't score
in the first round we told him to relax. He started scoring in
Rosario and he didn't stop until the Final. He was
Alberto Tarantini, Kempes' team-mate atArgentina1978
"In just one World Cup he showed he was an irresistible
player with tremendous confidence. There were only a few defenders
who managed to control him in 1978 and I'm proud to say I was
one of them. Christian Lopez and I picked him up in zones, and we
tried to encourage each other by saying he was just another player.
We knew we couldn't let him turn because he was deadly from the
edge of the box. He was so strong."
Marius Tresor,Francedefender atArgentina1978
"I met Kempes at the 1978 World Cup and we still keep in
touch. He was a fantastic player with incredible strength. He's
one of the main reasons why Argentina won that year."
Antonio Cabrini,Italydefender atArgentina1978