Osvaldo Ardiles

Osvaldo Ardiles
Osvaldo Ardiles

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Personal information
Full name Osvaldo César Ardiles
Date of birth 3 August 1952 (1952-08-03) (age 59)
Place of birth Bell Ville, Argentina
Height 1.69 m (5 ft 7 in)
Playing position Midfielder
Youth career
Instituto de Córdoba
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1973 Instituto de Córdoba 14 (3)
1974 Belgrano 16 (2)
1975–1978 Huracán 113 (11)
1978–1988 Tottenham Hotspur 221 (16)
1982–1983 →Paris Saint Germain (loan) 14 (1)
1985 St George Saints (loan) 1 (0)
1988 Blackburn Rovers 5 (0)
1988–1989 Queens Park Rangers 8 (0)
1989 Ft. Lauderdale Strikers 5 (1)
1989–1991 Swindon Town 2 (0)
Total 376 (32)
National team
1973–1982 Argentina 63 (8)
Teams managed
1989–1991 Swindon Town
1991–1992 Newcastle United
1992–1993 West Bromwich Albion
1993–1994 Tottenham Hotspur
1995 Club Deportivo Guadalajara
1996–1998 Shimizu S-Pulse
1999 Croatia Zagreb
2000–2001 Yokohama F. Marinos
2001 Al-Ittihad
2002–2003 Racing Club
2003–2005 Tokyo Verdy 1969
2006 Beitar Jerusalem
2007 Club Atlético Huracán
2008 Cerro Porteño
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 07:47, 15 December 2006 (UTC).

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 07:48, 15 December 2006 (UTC)

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. He now runs his own soccer school in the UK called the Ossie Ardiles' Soccer School.

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

As manager of Tottenham in the mid-1990s, he 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 has been a pundit for RTÉ Sport.[2]

He now runs a popular soccer school in the UK called the Ossie Ardiles' Soccer School. The soccer school is unique in that its coaches are ex-professional footballers. Most of the coaches are Ossie's friends from his playing days.


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 ten 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.

In the wake of the Falklands War between Britain and Argentina it became hard for him to return to White Hart Lane and he went on loan to Paris Saint Germain in France. After just one season in Paris, he returned to Tottenham, helping the club to win the UEFA Cup in 1984 (coming on as a substitute in the second leg of the final). In the autumn of 1987, he was caretaker manager of Tottenham between the resignation of David Pleat and the appointment of Terry Venables. He left Spurs in 1988.

He then played for Blackburn Rovers, Queens Park Rangers F.C. and Swindon Town F.C., before being appointed as manager of Swindon Town in July 1989. He played part of the 1989 American Soccer League season with the Fort Lauderdale Strikers.

On 7 February 2008 Ossie Ardiles, along with his fellow countryman Ricky Villa, was inducted into the Tottenham Hotspur Hall of Fame.[4]

Management career

Ardiles at the Daniel Hotel in Herzliya, Israel

In July 1989, 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 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.

Ten months after he had joined, Ardiles led Swindon 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. 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 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 Wembley hero Alan McLoughlin was the first big-money departure. With Swindon rocked by their pre-season troubles, their form deserted them. By the end of February, relegation threatened, and when Newcastle offered Ardiles the chance to become their new boss, he accepted, becoming the club's first foreign manager. 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.

In June 1992 Ardiles 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. 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.[5] 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 after a nine game winless streak.[6] In mid-2006 he moved to Israel to coach Beitar Jerusalem FC, from which he quit after only a few months in charge on October 18, 2006 due to severe differences of opinion with the club's board of directors. After a small break he was appointed Club Atlético Huracán manager in his native Argentina in September 2007, he steered the club to 7th in the table before resigning at the end of the Apertura 2007.

He joined Paraguayan club Cerro Porteño in May 2008[7] but was sacked in August of the same year after a string of poor results and was replaced by Pedro Troglio[8]

Ossie Ardiles' Soccer School

In 2010 Ossie Ardiles launched the Ossie Ardiles' Soccer School. The soccer school's motto is "Play the Ossie Way". Most of the coaches are ex-professional footballers who are friends of Ossie Ardiles, for example Micky Hazard. This is unique for a soccer school as most do not have coaches who have played at the highest level of football. In addition the replica FA Cup is at all the courses.

The soccer school is currently based in the south east but it is gradually expanding across the country. Currently the soccer school only runs holiday courses but again there are plans to introduce different types of course such as evening courses.

Media career

Ardiles was enlisted by RTÉ Sport for their squad of pundits ahead of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.[9][10][11]

Ardiles played Carlos Rey in the 1981 World War II film 'Escape To Victory'.

Career chronology


  • He won 63 caps for Argentina's national team, including playing in the victorious World Cup winning squad of 1978.
  • He is the only Argentinian to be included in the Football League 100 Legends list.
  • Osvaldo Ardiles won the FA Cup in 1981 and 1982 and the UEFA Cup in 1984 with Tottenham Hotspur as a player.
  • Promoted Swindon Town to old Division One (now Premier League) in 1990 as manager although the team were relegated for financial irregularities.
  • Promoted West Bromwich Albion to Division One as manager in 1993.
  • Won Nabisco Cup with Shimizu S-Pulse as manager in 1996.
  • Won Tokai Cup with Shimizu S-Pulse as manager in 1996 and 1998.
  • Named J. League Manager of the Year in 1998.
  • Champion J-League First Stage with Yokohama F. Marinos in 2000 as manager.
  • Emperor's Cup Winner 2004–05 with Tokyo Verdy 1969 as manager.



Club performance League Cup League Cup Continental Total
Season Club League Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Argentina League Cup League Cup South America Total
1973 Instituto Primera División 14 3
1974 Belgrano Primera División 16 2
1975 Huracán Primera División
England League FA Cup League Cup Europe Total
1978-79 Tottenham Hotspur First Division 38 3
1979-80 40 3
1980-81 36 5
1981-82 26 2
1982-83 2 0
France League Coupe de France Coupe de la Ligue Europe Total
1982-83 Paris Saint-Germain Division 1 14 1
England League FA Cup League Cup Europe Total
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 Rovers 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
Country Argentina 143 16
England 253 16
France 14 1
Total 410 33
Argentina national team
Year Apps Goals
1975 8 4
1976 9 1
1977 11 0
1978 12 2
1979 1 0
1980 0 0
1981 2 0
1982 8 1


  1. ^ Bandini, Paolo (13 February 2009). "Ossie Ardiles". The Guardian (London). http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2009/feb/13/1. Retrieved 20 May 2010. 
  2. ^ "Ardiles joins Bill and the Boys". The Irish Times. 1 June 2010. http://www.irishtimes.com/sports/soccer/2010/0601/1224271637051.html. Retrieved 1 June 2010. 
  3. ^ Allen, Matt (April 2008). "Ossie Ardiles". FourFourTwo (Haymarket Group): pp. pp12–16 
  4. ^ "THFC- Hall of Fame 08-02_2008". Tottenhamhotspur.com. http://www.tottenhamhotspur.com/news/articles/halloffame080108.html. Retrieved 2010-06-29. 
  5. ^ "Ardiles axed as Yokohama coach". BBC Sport. 2001-06-02. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/1366135.stm. Retrieved 2008-01-19. 
  6. ^ "Ardiles sacked by Japanese side". BBC Sport. 2005-07-19. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/4695923.stm. Retrieved 2008-01-19. 
  7. ^ Osvaldo Ardiles will lead to Cerro Porteño
  8. ^ http://www.sportsya.com/futbol/paraguay/torneo_clausura_2008/home/noticia.php/Pedro_Troglio_reemplazara_en_Cerro_Porteno_al_despedido_Osvaldo_Ardiles.html?id_estruc=396&id=184925%7C Troglio replace Ardiles
  9. ^ "Ardiles and Hamann join RTÉ for World Cup". RTÉ Sport. 1 June 2010. http://www.rte.ie/sport/worldcup/2010/0601/rte_worldcup_panellists.html. Retrieved 1 June 2010. 
  10. ^ Black, Fergus (2 June 2010). "RTÉ hopes Ossie and squad will spur fans to back home team". Irish Independent. http://www.independent.ie/entertainment/tv-radio/rte-hopes-ossie-and-squad-will-spur-fans-to-back-home-team-2203365.html. Retrieved 2 June 2010. 
  11. ^ O'Malley, Carl (2 June 2010). "RTÉ roll out big guns for their 56 live games". The Irish Times. http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/sport/2010/0602/1224271676683.html. Retrieved 2 June 2010. 
  12. ^ http://www.national-football-teams.com/v2/player.php?id=19328

External links

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