Osvaldo Ardiles

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† Appearances (Goals).

Osvaldo César Ardiles (born 3 August 1952 in Bell Ville, Córdoba Province), often referred to in Britain as Ossie Ardiles,[1] is a football coach, pundit and former midfielder who won the 1978 World Cup as part of the Argentine national team.

A competitive and skilled midfielder, "Ossie", became a cult hero in England, along with Glenn Hoddle and compatriot Ricardo Villa, as a player for Tottenham Hotspur. He notably left England for a period as a result of the outbreak of the Falklands War in 1982, thus missing most of the 1982–83 season.

As manager of Tottenham in the mid-1990s, he famously played several matches utilizing a formation that had five forwards, a formation that hadn't been used in English football since the 1950s.

In Ireland he is recognised as a pundit for RTÉ Sport.[2]


Playing career

As a youngster, Ardiles played football in the streets and was given the nickname Pitón (python) by his brother because of his snake-like dribbling skills.[3] He began his professional career in Argentina with Instituto de Córdoba, playing also for Club Atlético Belgrano and Huracán. After the 1978 World Cup he moved to England to play for Tottenham where he spent four seasons.

He helped Tottenham win the FA Cup in his third season there (1980-81), and collaborated with pop duo Chas and Dave as well as the rest of the Tottenham players for a song, "Ossie's Dream". He played a big part in another FA Cup triumph the following year, but did not play in the final because it had already been arranged with the Spurs management that he would leave early to join up with Argentina's 1982 World Cup squad.

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