Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino says that Ossie Ardiles is a world football legend.
It’s 40 years since Tottenham shocked British football by bringing two Argentinian World Cup stars to White Hart Lane.
Ricky Villa is tall, slim and speaks slowly, carefully constructing his English sentences, with limited vocabulary, as he spends most of his life on his farm a few hundred miles south of Buenos Aires.
Ossie is far more fluent, as you would expect from someone who has lived here for most of his life.
But once Ossie gets going on a passionate topic of say football, he speaks ten to the dozen and after about five minutes it is virtually impossible to separate each word!
But his reference to an even greater Argentinian connection is simple to follow, considering that Spurs have an Argentine manager. Ossie is a regular in the inner sanctum of Spurs boss Pochettino.
I had the great pleasure of directing a life story film on Ossie, in which Pochettino, talking in the film, said: “He represents a legend, not only for Tottenham, but for world football, and for Argentina he is one of the most important players ever.
“It was very special for me especially as I was six years old and I listen and the names I hear were Ardiles, Passarella, Kempes, so for me he was one the best in the world. He is forever in the history of world football and he will always be a legend in football.”
Terry Neill, the former Spurs manager, reveals it was “the worst decision of my managerial career” that he didn’t sign Ardiles and Villa for the Gunners!
But Neill, an Arsenal man in his heart and soul, contacted then Spurs manager Keith Burkinshaw with the idea of signing Villa, while he was signing Ardiles.
Neill always denies this part of the story whenever I let him know that I know. He insists that the Arsenal board vetoed any foreign signings and he had also lined up Johan Cruyff.
To commemorate the 40th anniversary of the ground-breaking, historic transfer of Ossie Ardiles and Ricky Villa to Tottenham, the pair have a selection of shirts which can be signed. There is also a specially-designed range of exclusive Limited Edition retro shirts. And you can also join Ossie to watch a private screening of England v Spain on Saturday 8 September, plus a burger and beer deal, for just £10. Email Footba11legends@yahoo.com to book.