Mario Kempes , known by the nickname of ‘Matador', arrived in Valencia aged only 22. He had an extraordinary eye for goal, winning the 'Pichichi' trophy twice in his career. He achieved an enviable track record with Valencia CF and became the club’s greatest all-time idol
Kempes made his debut with Valencia CF in the Trofeo Naranja game in 1976. But his performance in that game was not outstanding, failing even a penalty shot. He grew up in his homeland Argentina, where he started playing as an offensive midfielder. He moved then to Rosario Central aged 19 and participated in the World Cup competition hosted in Germany. He arrived in Valencia aged 22.
Kempes won his first ‘Pichichi’ award in 1976-77 aged 24 and his second in 1977-78 aged 28. He also became the world champion and top scorer in Argentina World Championship in 1978. One year later, in 1979 he won the Copa del Rey with Valencia CF and in 1980 two more titles would come: the Recopa and the European Supercup. He was transferred to River Plate in the 1981-82 season and returned to Valencia one year after. He also played for Hercules and for Austrian teams. In 1993 Valencia CF and all the fans paid him a tribute in a farewell match at Mestalla.