Argentine striking legend Leopold Luque dies, aged 71

February 16 – Leopoldo Luque, the instantly recognisable moustachioed striker who played a key role in Argentina’s first ever World Cup on home soil in 1978, died on Monday of a heart attack while he was receiving treatment for Covid-19, according to the hospital where he was being treated.

Luque, who was 71, contracted coronavirus, which apparently led to pneumonia that led to his death.

Reports said he was told to self-isolate at his home in the Argentinian city of Mendoza for 10 days, but ended up being hospitalised after a drop in his oxygen levels. Local reports said medics were planning on bringing him out of a coma as he appeared to be getting stronger.

Luque was the strike partner for the more lauded Mario Kempes yet scored some crucial goals himself including Argentina’s opening goal of the tournament in a 2-1 win over Hungary and three more, including a brace in the crucial 6-0 thrashing of Peru that sent the host nation into the final.

He 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.

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