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

A competitive and skilled midfielder, he became a cult hero in Englandmarker, 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, which "Ossie" (or "Pitón", as he is affectively known in his native country) mainly used because of Tottenham's perceived defensive weakness.

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. 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" - in which he famously pronounced Tottenham as "Tottingham". He played a big part in another FA Cup triumph the following year, but did not play in the final because of hostility by fans towards himself and fellow Argentinianmarker Ricardo Villa in the wake of the Falklands War between Britain and Argentina.

He helped Tottenham win the UEFA Cup in 1984, leaving shortly afterwards to sign for Paris Saint Germain in Francemarker. After just one season in Parismarker, he returned to Tottenham, where he stayed until 1988. In the autumn of 1987, he was caretaker manager of Tottenham between the resignation of David Pleat and the appointment of Terry Venables.

He then played for Blackburn Roversmarker, Queens Park Rangers F.C. and Swindon Town F.C., before being appointed as manager of Swindon Town in July 1989.

On 7 February 2008 Ossie Ardiles, along with his fellow countryman Ricky Villa, was inducted into the Tottenham Hotspur Hall of Fame.

Management career

In July 1989, Osvaldo Ardiles moved into football management with second division Swindon Town when Lou Macari resigned to join West Ham in July 1989. He wowed fans by replacing the long ball style which had been so successful with a new "Samba style", which saw the Town playing attractive attacking football. Part of this change was the new "diamond formation" which Ardiles implemented - a 4-4-2 style with left-sided, right-sided, attacking and defensive midfielders.

Just ten months after he had joined, Ardiles led the Town to their highest ever league position - finishing fourth in the second division. After beating Blackburn in the first leg of the Play-Off semi-final, the fans paid tribute with a tickertape reception in the second leg - recreating the atmosphere of the 1978 World Cup, in which Ardiles had starred. Swindon went on to win promotion to the top flight for the first time in their history - beating Sunderland in the Play-Off Final - only to have the promotion cruelly taken from them ten days later, when the Football League demoted them for irregular payments to players.

The following season, Ardiles was told to sell to keep the club alive - and Wembleymarker hero Alan McLoughlin was the first big-money departure. With Swindon obviously rocked by their pre-season nightmare, their form deserted them, and opposition clubs seemed to come to terms with the Town's style of play. By the end of February, relegation threatened, and when Newcastle offered Ardiles the chance to become their new boss, he accepted. But his time on Tyneside was not a success and he lasted 12 months in the job before being sacked, with the Magpies bottom of the second division - though they achieved safety under his successor Kevin Keegan.

Ardiles was not out of work for long. In June 1992 he replaced Bobby Gould as manager of West Bromwich Albion, who had just missed out on the third division playoffs in 1991–92. At the end of the 1992–93 season, Ardiles guided Albion to victory over Port Vale in the Division Two playoff final. Shortly afterwards he walked out of the Hawthorns to return his former club Tottenham as manager, but his management spell was nowhere near as successful as his spell as a player. Tottenham finished 15th in the Premiership and despite the expensive acquisition of Jürgen Klinsmann, Ilie Dumitrescu and Gheorghe Popescu in the 1994 close season, Ardiles was sacked in October 1994 with Tottenham languishing in the bottom half of the Premier League as they paid the price for the manager's tendency to play five forwards at once (usually Klinsmann, Dumitrescu, Teddy Sheringham, Darren Anderton and Nicky Barmby). They had just been punished for financial irregularities committed during the late 1980s: with a 1-year FA Cup ban, £600,000 fine and 12 league points deducted. The punishment was later amended to a £1.5million fine and six points deducted but the FA Cup ban and points deduction were later quashed.

Ardiles became coach of Japanese side Yokohama F. Marinos in January 2000, but was sacked in June 2001 following a poor start to the season. From 2003 to 2005 he coached Tokyo Verdy 1969, with whom he won the 2004 Emperor's Cup. But in July 2005 he was fired due , who finished second bottom in the league. In mid-2006 he moved to Israelmarker to coach Beitar Jerusalem FC, from which he was fired October 18, 2006. After a small break he was appointed Club Atlético Huracán manager in his native Argentinamarker in September 2007, he steered the club to 7th in the table before resigning at the end of the Apertura 2007.

He joined Paraguayanmarker club Cerro Porteño in May 2008

Career chronology





  2. THFC- Hall of Fame 08-02_2008
  3.| Osvaldo Ardiles will lead to Cerro Porteño
  4.| Troglio replace Ardiles

External links

1973 Instituto Primera División 14 3
1974 Belgrano Primera División 16 2
1975 Huracán Primera División

1978-79 Tottenham Hotspur First Division 38 3
1979-80 40 3
1980-81 36 5
1981-82 26 2
1982-83 2 0

1982-83 Paris Saint-Germain Division 1 14 1

1983-84 Tottenham Hotspur First Division 9 0
1984-85 11 2
1985-86 23 1
1986-87 25 0
1987-88 28 0
1987-88 Blackburn Roversmarker Second Division 5 0
1988-89 Queens Park Rangers First Division 8 0
1989-90 Swindon Town Second Division 2 0
1990-91 0 0

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