Rene Houseman dies at 64; won 1978 World Cup with Argentina

Rene Houseman, a striker who won the 1978 World Cup with Argentina, died after fighting tongue cancer since last year, the Argentine Football Association has confirmed. He was 64.

Known as "Loco," or the "Crazy One," Houseman played in the 1974 and 1978 World Cups. He played 55 games for Argentina from 1973-79, scoring 13 times.

"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.

Houseman 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.

"I was a friend of the real Rene Houseman and enjoyed his football," said Diego Maradona, who led Argentina to the World Cup title in 1986.

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 Huracan team that won Argentina's Metropolitan trophy in 1973.

"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."

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

"The whole football 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.