Where Are They Now? Argentina’s 1978 World Cup Winners

The 1978 final will always be remembered for the ticker-tape celebration following Argentina’s extra-time victory over Holland at the Monumental thanks to Mario Kempes’ double strike. Goal.com takes a look back at that winning side and sees what has happened to them since that glorious night.
Argentina sealed their first World Cup win on home soil when they defeated the Netherlands in an exciting final that went to extra-time. For the Dutch it was their second successive World Cup final defeat following their loss to Germany in 1974, but for the South Americans it was a night of unbridled joy in Buenos Aires.   


(1)  Ubaldo Fillol  

‘The Duck’ made a name for himself with an impressive showing at the finals on home soil. Strangely, he wore the number 5 shirt as the squad numbers were given out alphabetically.   

He eventually retired from the national team after more than a decade of service in 1985 - having competed in the 1982 finals in Spain - with a record 58 caps to his name. He enjoyed a further successful five years with the likes of Flamengo, Atletico Madrid and Racing Club before moving into management.  

He then became involved in coaching at various youth levels for the Argentine national team set-up, but recently saw himself surplus to requirements when FA boss Julio Grondona failed to renew his contract.  


(2)  Jorge Olguin   

Olguin is considered one of Argentina’s finest right-backs having amassed 60 caps and played in two World Cups. He played close to 250 games for San Lorenzo before moving to Independiente and Argentinos Juniors and retired in 1988.  

Club management followed with stints in Argentina, Japan and Costa Rica.       

(3)  Luis Galvan   

Centre back Galvan spent most of his career at Talleres but did have a brief spell in Bolivia before retiring in 1989 at the age of 41. He now runs a soccer school in Cordoba.        

(4)  Daniel Passarella   

The captain has had the most interesting of careers following the 1978 triumph. In 1982 he left River Plate to join Fiorentina in Italy and also had a brief spell at Inter. He returned to River Plate in 1988 for a season before hanging up his boots.   

He moved up to coach River Plate, winning the Apertura in both 1991 and 1993, before becoming the Argentine national team manager in 1994. He took the team to the World Cup finals in 1998 in France, in a twist of fate saw his side eliminated at the quarter-final stage by Holland.

He resigned and then became coach of Uruguay, but left that post during qualifying for the 2002 World Cup. Since then, he has had brief spells with Parma, CF Monterrey and Corinthians. In 2006 he took the reins at his beloved River Plate but quit in November 2007 after a shock defeat in the Copa Sudamerica to Arsenal de Sarandi.  

The ‘Kaiser’ has recently announced his intention to run for the office of president of River Plate in succession to Dr. Jose M. Aguilar.     

(5)  Alberto Tarrantini  

The left-back was the youngest member of the winning team and has had a colourful career since then. He moved to England in 1978 with Birmingham City in a less spectacular move than the one which saw Ossie Ardiles and Ricky Villa join Tottenham.   

His time in the midlands however was marred by indiscipline and he left after just one season and 18 games. He was the precursor to Eric Cantona, as on one occasion he waded into the crowd to punch a spectator!      

Tarrantini also played in France with Toulouse and Bastia before retiring in 1989 at St Gallen in Switzerland. He is now apparently running a car-wash business back in his native Argentina.  


(6)  Osvaldo Ardiles   

English fans will remember Ardiles from his time at Tottenham following the 1978 World Cup win when, along with Ricardo Villa, he started the ‘foreign invasion’ of English football. After ten years at White Hart Lane he had various short spells at a host of clubs before retiring in 1991.   

Since then he has managed 14 clubs over a period of 20 years with spells in England, Mexico, Japan, Croatia, Saudi Arabia, Argentina, Israel and Paraguay.  

Ossie was recently linked with the manager vacancy at Inverness Caledonian Thistle and has also been tipped with a move to Australia’s A League.  

(7)  Amerigo Gallego  

El Tolo moved to the Argentine giants River Plate three years after the World Cup victory and ended his career there in 1988. He turned to coaching and landed the manager’s job at River Plate in 1994, taking Los Millionarios to the league title with an unbeaten record.   

His close friend Daniel Passarella then made him his assistant with the national team during his tenure, but he then returned to River winning another league title in 2000. Gallego also won the national championship with Independiente and Newell’s Old Boys; making him only the second man to win the league with three different clubs.   

He has since had successful spells in Mexico and is currently a candidate to succeed Ramon Diaz as coach of America.   

(8)  Oscar Ortiz    

Midfielder Ortiz was at River Plate when Argentina won the World Cup, but was sold to Huracan in 1981 after helping Los Millionarios win three consecutive league titles. He later played for Independiente before retiring in 1983.   

He now runs a soccer school in Buenos Aires.    

(9) Daniel Bertoni  

Bertoni scored the ‘other’ goal in the final against Holland and like others in the squad, earned a move to Europe on the back of the 1978 triumph. He moved to Sevilla in Spain. Bertoni then played 180 games in Italy for Fiorentina, Napoli and Udinese.   

In 1989 he took over as coach of Club Atletico Los Andes but lasted just four games. After several years away from coaching he became involved in representing players and exploited his links with Fiorentina.  The death of Independiente trainer Jose Pastoriza in 2004 saw him take over but after some poor results he resigned before he was fired.   

Bertoni can now be seen as a panellist on the FOX Sports program ‘The Last Word’.  


(10)  Mario Kempes  

It is the two goals from Mario Kempes that everybody remembers from the 1978 final win. 'El Matador' was actually already playing overseas, with Valencia, at the time of the World Cup, before having further spells with less glamorous clubs such as Hercules, FC Vienna, Saint Polten, Kremser FC as well as Fernandez Vial (Chile) and Pelita Jaya (Indonesia). 

Like so many other pros he went into management after retiring. After a spell as Hector Nunez’s assistant at Valencia he went to his old club in Indonesia, before going to Albania and Lushjne. Since then he had spells in Venezuela, Bolivia and lower league teams in both Italy and Spain.  

He currently works as a football analyst for ESPN Deportes.  

(11) Leopoldo Luque  

Striker Luque scored four goals in the 1978 tournament but his career faded somewhat after he left River Plate in 1980, having played 176 games and scored 75 goals. He became a journeyman with spells at Jaibos, Union, Racing Club, Chacarita Juniors and Santos before retiring in 1985.   

He became the secretary for sport in Argentina’s Mendoza province, but suffered a non-fatal heart attack in February 2007.   

Coach: Cesar Luis Menotti  

The chain smoking coach also led Argentina to the 1982 World Cup in Spain but quit after the holders were eliminated by Brazil in the second group stage. Following the World Cup, he stayed in Spain to manage Barcelona where he coached Diego Maradona. However, failure to deliver the league saw him lose his job in 1984.   

Since then, Menotti has had various coaching positions including Penarol, Boca Juniors, Atletico Madrid, the Mexican national side,  Sampdoria and Independiente to name but a few.  

Now aged 70 he is still to be found in Mexico coaching, but is involved also in teaching and lecturing.   

Mathew Burt, Goal.com