One of the most popular players in Spurs’ history, Ossie Ardiles epitomised the club’s free-flowing football philosophy and in his 10 seasons in north London, the Argentinean midfielder became a cult figure who was worshipped by the White Hart Lane faithful.
Signed in the wake of Argentina’s 1978 World cup final triumph over Holland, the diminutive playmaker caused a huge stir on his arrival in the UK with international team-mate Ricky Villa and his performances on the pitch quickly confirmed that the hype was more than justified.
A skilful player brimming with vision, Ardiles adapted to English football with ease and his partnership with Glenn Hoddle in the heart of the Tottenham midfield made the team into a real force and the trophies followed.
The Argentinean was part of both the 1981 and 1982 FA Cup-winning sides under Keith Burkinshaw’s astute management and although the outbreak of the Falklands War forced him into a temporary exile with Paris Saint Germain in France, he returned to White Hart Lane to help the side lift the 1984 Uefa Cup.
His playing days with the club came to an end in 1988 and although he endured an ill-fated season as Spurs manager in the early 1990s, he remains one of Tottenham’s favourite sons.
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