Argentinian soccer is mourning the passing of 1978 World Cup-winning striker Leopoldo Luque on the age of 71.
Luque had been hospitalised on the Clínica de Cuyo in Mendoza earlier than Christmas and struggled to recuperate from COVID-19.
Hospital sources mentioned he had suffered a deadly coronary heart assault and had a historical past of cardiac hassle.
His former putting accomplice Mario Kempes led tributes describing Luque as “a terrific soccer participant, a terrific pal and companion”.
Kempes added: “Relaxation in Peace and fly excessive pal!”
Kempes posted an image of the pair taken final 12 months once they had been collectively in Mendoza.
Osvaldo Ardiles, a midfielder within the 1978 crew, insisted Luque had been an “instrumental determine of our triumph within the World Cup of 78”.
“No one suffered extra to attain it,” continued Ardiles.
“It was a terrific honour to have him as a companion.
“Inconceivable to have somebody higher by your aspect.”
Argentinian newspaper La Nacion described Luque as “a luminous human being and a unprecedented footballer”.
The best moments of his soccer profession got here on the 1978 FIFA World Cup, however had been tinged with tragedy when his brother Oscar died in a street accident throughout the match.
Luque scored Argentina’s first aim of the match in a 2-1 win towards Hungary and 4 days later, his memorable long-range effort proved the winner towards France.
It was described within the French paper L’Équipe as “a shot from a cannon from 20 metres” and lauded as one of many targets of the match.
It made positive of Argentina’s qualification for the second part.
Later within the match, Luque dislocated an elbow however that night got here the information of the tragedy involving his brother.
Luque was allowed dwelling to mourn and didn’t play within the subsequent two matches, although the crew carried a banner saying “Leopoldo we’re ready for you”.
He returned to the aspect for his or her second-poll-phase match towards Brazil, a brutal 0-0 draw which left Luque nursing a black eye.
Of their final second-round match, Argentina wanted to beat Peru by 4 clear targets to achieve the World Cup last.
Luque scored the fourth aim himself and Argentina finally received 6-0 on an emotional night time.
He additionally performed the total 120 minutes within the World Cup last victory over The Netherlands.
In membership soccer, Luque received 5 titles with River Plate and later went into teaching in Mendoza.
Luque was capped 43 instances for Argentina, together with a memorable look alongside Diego Maradona at Hampden Park in Glasgow in 1979 when each gamers had been on the scoresheet towards Scotland.
Maradona, usually thought-about the best soccer participant of all time, missed out on choice for the 1978 FIFA World aged 17, and died in November aged 60.