Tottenham currently have a Argentinean manager and two players from that country registered with the club. Our most famous link goes back to 1978 but we actually have connections with the country dating from 1909.
Looking back now its impossible to comprehend just what a swoop Tottenham completed when just weeks after the 1978 World Cup we signed two of the players from that trophy winning side. The world’s imagination had been caught by the carnival atmosphere of the World Cup and by the home team as they won the competition. Tottenham on the other hand had just won promotion from Division Two. At that time foreign players were unheard of in England as the league had only lifted a ban on overseas players two years earlier and the few that had arrived were certainly not in the superstar bracket. There were questions in the House of Commons and one journalist wrote Spurs could not have made a bigger impact if they had signed Batman and Robin.
Ossie Ardiles and Ricki Villa made their debuts at Nottingham Forest (the champions) in a 1-1 draw with Ricki scoring the Spurs goal. They were met at White Hart Lane for their home debuts with a ticker-tape welcome reminiscent of those seen at the World Cup. The two did however despite their unquestionable talent take time to adapt to their new homes and the style of football in England as the team would finish 11th that season.
The highlight of their time with Spurs was the 1981 FA Cup Final. The first game with Manchester City saw Villa substituted and instead of sitting on the bench he was so upset he walked to the dressing room, creating an iconic image. Keith Burkenshaw selected him for the replay and this time wearing his lucky number 5 shirt he was the star of the show. Ricky scored twice including one of the best goals ever seen at Wembley, this on top of a 25 yard screamer in the semi-final.
The following season both won League Cup runners up medals but by the time the FA Cup final came round Ossie had returned to Argentine to prepare for the World Cup. The two countries had gone to war after Argentine invaded the Falkland Islands. Ossie couldn’t return and would go on loan to PSG Paris for a while.
Right Ossie and Ricki with Keith Burkenshaw.
When he did return to Spurs he would help us win the UEFA Cup in 1984, playing nearly 400 games for Spurs (37 goals) and he would win 12 caps whilst a Spurs player. Ricki scored 40 times in more than 200 games. Both are in the clubs Hall of Fame and Ossie has been inducted into the National Hall of Fame.
Ricki still returns to England every year and watches his Spurs play, and still turns out for the Legends side when he is here. Ossie would become our manager and is still an ambassador for the club.
Our first meeting with a club from the country was with San Lorenzo when we met them in Japan in the summer of 1979 during the Japan Cup. The game was a 3-3 draw before we won 5-2 on penalties. Both Villa and Ardiles played in the game.
Did you know the first time England played Argentina was at Wembley in 1951, Argentina were only the second team to play England at the at ground (following Scotland). The Argentine goalie was nicknamed Tarzan as he had a habit of swinging from the crossbar during the game. Tottenham’s Alf Ramsey was at right back. England won 2-1 with both coming late in the game.
The third player from that country to play for Spurs was Mauricio Taricco (left). An under 21 international who joined us from Ipswich in 1999. A full back who could endear himself with his effort and commitment and enrage with his rushes of blood that cost us bookings as well as being sent off two games running once. He scored twice in 199 games for Spurs.
The first time England played Argentina in South America, Ramsey was again in the side but the game was abandoned after half an hour because of heavy rain.
At the time of writing we also have Mauricio Pochettino as our manager, following in the footsteps of Ardiles he is our second Argentinean manager and only England and Scotland have supplied more to the Tottenham's managers post. Mauricio was featured @ http://www.indiaspurs.com/blog/hotspur-towers-mauricio-pochettino
Jimmy Greaves became England youngest goal scorer at the World Cup finals when we beat them 3-1 in 1962. Maurice Norman was also in the team.
top image - Lamella, Ardiles and Pochettino
t- Keith 16024542
f - https://www.facebook.com/keith.harrison.9659
My profile / archive is @ - View Full Bio
Further Reading - The 1978 World Cup is featured @
The Japan Cup @ http://www.indiaspurs.com/blog/hotspur-towers-around-the-world-in-79
Ossies acting and singing career is @
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