Buenos Aires Times

sports Loss of a legend

World Cup-winning footballer René Houseman dies at 64

The Selección great, who played in both the 1974 and 1978 World Cups, was a daring dribbler and winger, who was known as 'El Loco.'

Thursday 22 March, 2018
René Houseman, member of the 1978 World Cup-winning Argentina squad.
René Houseman, member of the 1978 World Cup-winning Argentina squad. Foto:Archivo NA

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Argentine football legend René Houseman died Thursday after a months-long fight against lung cancer. He was 64.

The Argentine Football Association (AFA) confirmed his death in a statement and praised Houseman for his skills and agility.

"Skillful, fast, unpredictable, he amazed fans and stood out for representing the most genuine part of Argentine soccer, the kind of soccer that is played in pastures and that is best-known for the dribble," AFA said.

Known as "Loco," Houseman played in the 1974 and 1978 World Cups.

He played 55 games for Argentina from 1973-79, scoring 13 times.

He was praised for his dribbling skills and powerful shots, and was remembered by other players and media in Argentina as one of the best right wingers.

"You'll always be a beautiful, crazy one," Mario Kempes, the Argentina great and top scorer at the 1978 World Cup, wrote on Twitter. "You'll always be with us. Rest in peace."

Houseman made his professional debut for Defensores de Belgrano, where he won a lower division title in 1971. He later became a key player for the Huracán team that won Argentina's Metropolitan trophy in 1973.

But his heart was always with Excursionistas, where he was a youth player.

With Independiente, he won the Copa Libertadores and the Intercontinental Cup in 1984. He also played for River Plate and Chile's Colo Colo.

A known alcoholic, Houseman struggled with drug abuse much of his life, and once scored for Huracán against River Plate in 1977 while inebriated.

"The whole soccer world is mourning the death of the best wing in the world," said Daniel Valencia, who was also part of the 1978 World Cup-winning team.

-TIMES/AP/PERFIL

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