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ESPN Deportes’ Mario Kempes commemorates 35th anniversary of his World Cup-winning goal for Argentina

Current ESPN Deportes soccer analyst Mario Kempes is seen here celebrating a goal he scored for host Argentina in its 1978 World Cup Final victory over Holland. (Credit: Getty Images)
Current ESPN Deportes soccer analyst Mario Kempes is seen here celebrating a goal he scored for host Argentina in its 1978 World Cup Final victory over Holland. (Credit: Getty Images)

Thirty-five years ago this month, Mario Kempes solidified his place in FIFA World Cup soccer lore by scoring two goals — including the game-winner — in host Argentina’s 3-1 victory over Holland.

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Mario Kempes
(Rich Arden/ESPN Images)

For the past nine years, Kempes has worked at ESPN as a soccer analyst for ESPN Deportes and ESPN in Latin America. He is also host of the international soccer program, Fuera de Juego. To commemorate the 35th anniversary of his heroics in Buenos Aires, the show asked Kempes to relive the performance — his reaction to one of his six tournament goals is marked by the new World Cup Wall recently dedicated on ESPN’s Bristol, Conn. campus.

“Every time I walk by this image, I remember the joy of scoring that goal and the joy of all of those behind me celebrating that moment,” he told co-hosts Richard Méndez, José “Tato” Noriega, and Ricardo Ortíz. “I felt satisfied because I did something good, something everyone was expecting us to do. We had confidence in ourselves but we had many worthy competitors in our way, including Holland.”

Kempes also showed his fellow Fuera de Juego co-hosts the Golden Boot — awarded to the tournament’s leading scorer — and the Golden Ball — symbolic of the most outstanding player in the World Cup Finals.

Gabriela Nunez contributed to this post.

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