Gio’s Copa success great news for Spurs - Ossie
Mon 12 July 2021, 15:04|Tottenham Hotspur
Ossie Ardiles believes Spurs will reap the benefit of Giovani Lo Celso’s triumphant Copa America campaign with Argentina.
The playmaker from Rosario featured regularly in the tournament and started in the quarter-final win against Ecuador, the semi-final against Colombia - where he came up against team-mate Davinson Sanchez - and the final against Brazil in the early hours of Sunday, where Angel Di Maria’s goal secured a first major title for Argentina since 1993.
“For this generation, especially Lionel Messi, this is huge for them,” said Ossie, capped 51 times by Argentina, World Cup winner in 1978. “And Gio had a very good tournament.
“At the beginning he wasn’t playing so much, but he ended one of the starters, and I’m very happy for him and that is very good news for Spurs as well because he will come back with a lot of confidence. This will mean a lot.”
Gio will now prepare for his third season in a Spurs shirt having featured 65 times since his arrival from Real Betis, an initial loan deal made permanent in January, 2020.
Ossie knows better than most about the change of culture - both on and off the pitch - that Gio has had to get to terms with having been one of the pioneers of foreign players moving to England alongside Ricky Villa when we signed the World Cup winners back in July, 1978.
“The transition is not easy, not easy at all,” said Ossie, who made 311 appearances for us between 1978-88 and later managed the team. “The pace of the game in England is quicker, much more difficult, for example in South America, you have more time on the ball, more time to think, you don’t get that in the Premier League.
“Having said that, Giovani has adjusted very well to the Premier League and in a lot of ways he’s been unlucky, he had an injury when he first arrived playing for Argentina and later on, he had to deal with some tricky injuries. Fingers crossed, he will be important for us next season.”