Spurs legends preview the World Cup - Ossie Ardiles on Group C
Tue 15 November 2022, 10:45|Tottenham Hotspur
The greatest football show on earth kicks-off this weekend as Qatar hosts the World Cup.
The first match sees the hosts up against Ecuador at the Al Bayt Stadium on Sunday (20 November, 4pm). That begins a run of 48 matches across eight groups until Friday 2 December. The knockout stage begins the next day, 3 December, with the final on Sunday 18 December.
With the tournament looming, we've called on a number of Spurs legends - players and managers - to preview the groups, with an eye on their respective country.
Next up, we've a World Cup winner on Group C - over to you, Ossie Ardiles!
Argentina, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Poland
22/11 - Argentina v Saudi Arabia, Mexico v Poland; 26/11 - Poland v Saudi Arabia, Argentina v Mexico; 30/11 - Poland v Argentina; Saudi Arabia v Mexico.
Capped 51 times by Argentina (1975-82) and a World Cup winner in 1978, Ossie joined Spurs with Ricky Villa in 1978, famously lifting the FA Cup in 1981 and then the UEFA Cup in 1984. He made 311 appearances for us between 1978-88, then later returned to manage the team from 1993-94. After managerial roles across the globe, including success in Japan, Ossie is as popular as ever as a Club Ambassador...
“Argentina are favourites to win the group and go through, by far. They are one of the favourites to win the World Cup. Saudi Arabia is probably one of the weakest teams in the World Cup, so it’s between Mexico and Poland who goes through. For Argentina, a game against Mexico is more difficult. They will know each other well because they are from Latin America and the manager of Mexico is Gerardo Martino, an Argentine guy, so I would say that’s the most difficult opponent for Argentina in the group. Of course, with Poland, they have one of the best players in the world in Robert Lewandowski, he’s particularly dangerous. But, as I said, I expect Argentina to win the group and go through. Argentina are on an extraordinary run (now 35 matches unbeaten) and that includes some very difficult matches, the most important of which was the final of the Copa America against Brazil, in Brazil, in 2021. Of course, we have the Lionel Messi factor as well. It’s probably going to be his last World Cup. There has been an incredible transformation with Messi in Argentina (he actually retired from international football in 2016, before quickly reversing his decision) especially after winning that final in Brazil (Argentina’s first trophy since 1993). People are 100 per cent behind the team, and 100 per cent behind Messi. One of the factors of this unbeaten run is that they play together, as a team. You can see they are incredibly close, and Messi is at the heart of it. This is one of the reasons - not just the quality of the players - that Argentina are one of the favourites for the tournament.”