Few players have done more to advance the cause of overseas players in England than Ossie Ardiles. Arriving on English soil in 1978 with a World Cup win with Argentina under his belt it took him little time to adapt to the English game.
Osvaldo Cesar Ardiles showed none of the theatrics or cry-baby behaviour often associated with foreign imports. A no-nonsense all-action midfielder, he formed a legendary partnership with Glenn Hoddle in the Spurs midfield.
Ardiles' guile and Hoddle's grace in the middle of the park helped Tottenham to two FA Cups and one UEFA Cup victory. The 1981 FA Cup win is perhaps the most memorable of those honours and Ossie was the unlikely hero even before the first ball was kicked. The Argentine was the star of Spurs' FA Cup final song, 'Ossie's Dream', by Chas & Dave. No Spurs fan can forget an embarrassed Ardiles singing the line: "In the Cup for Tottingham" in front of his amused team-mates on Top of the Pops.
Spurs went on to win the final against Manchester City after a replay. It was Ardiles' Argentine compatriot Ricky Villa who stole the show in the second game, dribbling past three City players to score the winner.
Deceptively strong for such a slight player, Ardiles spent a decade at White Hart Lane. His spell in North London was only interrupted by the outbreak of war in the Falklands in 1982, which caused him to miss that year's FA Cup final. After helping Tottenham to a 2-0 semi-final win over Leicester City, he returned to Argentina to join up with the national team. The situation in the Falklands got worse and Ardiles would miss the final at his beloved Wembley.
After a season in France with Paris St Germain Ardiles returned to the Lane and would later go on to manage the club. He is still remembered by fans as a Spurs great and is in the club's Hall of Fame.