Argentine World Cup winner Leopoldo Luque dies aged 71

Luque, 71, was a key member of the Argentina side that won its first World Cup at home in 1978.

Leopoldo Luque in action during the Copa De Oro match between Argentina and Brazil on January 4, 1981 in Montevideo, Uruguay. - GETTY IMAGES

Leopoldo Luque, the moustachioed striker who was a key part of the Argentina side that won its first World Cup at home in 1978, died on Monday, the Argentine Football Association said.

Luque, who was 71, was hospitalised with COVID-19 over the festive period and he never fully recovered, Argentina media reported.

Luque was an integral member of the 1978 team, scoring four goals and forming part of a swashbuckling attack with Daniel Bertoni and Mario Kempes. He scored the host’s first goal in the 2-1 opening win over Hungary and twice in the notorious 6-0 win over Peru that took it into the final.

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Luque played all his club football in Latin America, with spells at Rosario Central, River Plate and Racing, among other clubs. He also played for Santos in Brazil and Mexican club Deportivo Tampico.

Luque’s death comes three months after that of his former team-mate Diego Maradona.

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