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The Argentine Not-Spur!

Following Ossie Ardiles and Ricky Villa’s successful spells at Spurs, we look back on how we once came close to acquiring the services of another Argentinian 1978 World Cup winner.

Mario Kempes in pre-season action for Spurs at Enfield.

Joining us from Argentine sides Huracan and Racing Club respectively on July 10, 1978, Osvaldo Ardiles and Ricardo Villa are two World Cup winners who left an indelible mark in the history books of Tottenham Hotspur.

Between them, the pair played some 354 league games in our colours, scoring 34 goals. Both were part of our starting line-up that won the FA Cup Final replay in 1981, with Ossie also part of our UEFA Cup winning squad of 1984. He would go on to manage us between 1993 and 1994.

In the days before the signing of overseas talent had become common place in English football, Ardiles and Villa’s arrival back in 1978 was a momentous occasion. The Daily Express heralded their arrival with the headline ‘Spurs Scoop The World,’ in recognition of the fact the pair had won the World Cup with Argentina that summer.

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